HELENA (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester's bill to increase both logging and wilderness area has been included in a final spending package the lame-duck Congress is expected to take up in the coming days.
The Montana Democrat has been working in the final days of the session to get his proposal attached to legislation that will be considered before Congress wraps up its work. It was added Tuesday.
Tester's bill would create new wilderness in parts of Montana, increase logging requirements and establish permanent recreation areas.
He says the bill would be a big boost to the logging industry, designate areas for motorized users and give environmentalists increased protections in other parts of the forest.
Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana has been critical of the proposal.