There aren’t many bodies of water in Montana that so define our state as much as the Blackfoot River does. It’s where generations of Montanans from all over the state go to fish, float and camp.

What makes the Blackfoot so special is how healthy it is. Its cold, clean waters support native populations of westslope cutthroat and bull trout up and down its main stem and high up into the tributaries that flow out of the Swans, Missions, and other surrounding mountains.

We can’t take the Blackfoot’s health for granted. That’s why we need Sen. Tester to reintroduce the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (BCSA) and Sen. Daines and Rep. Gianforte to support this bipartisan, made-in-Montana bill that 73 percent of Montanans support. The bill would permanently protect the Blackfoot’s most vital tributaries, including the North Fork, Monture Creek, Morrell Creek, and West Fork of the Clearwater.

These tributaries are vital not only for native trout, but also for grizzly bears, wolverines, and other wildlife that make this country some of the wildest in the Lower 48. By passing the BCSA, we’ll preserve not just what we love about the Blackfoot; we’ll also preserve what we love about Montana. Endorse the bill at blackfootclearwater.org.

David Leverett

Bozeman