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By Alex Ross 

Conservationists oppose Gianforte bill removing wilderness areas


Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., has introduced two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that would release more than 690,000 acres in Wilderness Study Areas, including 74,650 acres within the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, and has drawn the ire of some conservationists.

A press release from Gianforte’s office said Thursday that the Protect Use of Public Lands Act and the Unlocking Public Lands Act will open access to lands found not to meet the criteria for federal wilderness protection.

“Nearly 700,000 acres of Montana’s public lands have been in limbo for a...

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