HELENA — U.S. Sen. Max Baucus says he will sponsor a bill to expand the wilderness on the Rocky Mountain Front.
Conservationists who have been working on the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act tout the proposal as a compromise among varied groups aimed at keeping development and road access on the front at its current levels.
Opponents say more wilderness designations will hinder the area economy and hurt access.
Baucus says the area is a sportsman's paradise and "a crown jewel of the West."
The act would add 67,000 acres of wilderness to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It would designate more than 200,000 acres as a conservation management area that would limit road building.