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For many years I've been very fortunate to live on the shores of the Madison River. Among Montana's iconic waters (and our state holds many), the ever-popular Madison stands alone. From the windows of our home I've watched moose, elk, bear, otter, beaver and countless other critters, not to mention the prized trout. I'm sure my neighbors can agree - with little to ask in return, this river just keeps on giving.

That's why, as a landowner, I applaud Sen. Tester for announcing plans to introduce the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act. This made-in-Montana bill will protect 20 miles of the Madison as a Wild and Scenic River, along with sections of 16 other pristine waterways in Southwest Montana. This guarantees free water-flow, water quality, and plans to protect the outstanding fisheries, recreational uses, scenery and wildlife the Madison supports. Property and water rights will remain intact, unthreatened.

The Madison is a pristine free-stone river and deserves to be treated as such. What's more, it duly deserves the recognition of the Wild and Scenic title. If we want our iconic rivers to remain for many generations to come, we must act now.

Clean water brings together Montanans of all political affiliations and backgrounds. What's good for the Madison is good for all of us, and the Montana Headwaters Legacy act is good for the Madison. Please join me in bipartisan support for this effort. Call Sen. Daines and ask that he gives the bipartisan support that Montana's rivers deserve.

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Jim Wilson