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Panel takes up Tester, Baucus forest bills


HELENA (AP) — A U.S. Senate subcommittee is again taking up bills from U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester that deal with federal land protections in Montana.

Tester told the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee Tuesday that it is time to pass his bill that aims to both mandate more logging and expand wilderness area.

The measure was first introduced in 2009 and is billed as a compromise between timber mills and environmentalists. It stalled last year amid partisan differences accentuated by his heated re-election campaign.

Baucus told the committee that his Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act is a plan by locals to preserve current conditions on some 275,000 acres of public land on the Rocky Mountain Front.


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