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I am a Montanan, I support Healthy Rivers, and I strongly encourage Sen. Daines, Sen. Tester, and Congressman Gianforte to introduce the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act to their respective chambers.

I have been connected to rivers my entire life, from competition as a whitewater slalom Olympian, to my currently COVID-interrupted career in the outdoor recreation economy. Today, Montana’s rivers are a critical place of solace, quiet, and play with my young daughter.

The Headwaters Legacy Act will add 336 miles of Montana’s streams to the Wild and Scenic Rivers list. Wild and scenic is the highest level of protection for our nation’s waterways and a critical designation. As our state’s population increases so will the strain on our rivers. Wild and Scenic protects these streams like a snapshot in time, as they exist today, they must exist in perpetuity without fear of new dams or additional degradation.

My daughter will have the opportunity to float, fish and enjoy our rivers for her lifetime and her children’s children’s lifetimes. In this chaotic year, the certainty provided by Wild and Scenic protection is ever more valuable.

Fellow Montanans check out healthyriversmt.org to learn more about the eligible rivers; I wager a bet that some of your favorite streams are up for protection.

I’m asking Montana’s congressional delegation to please do something great for your constituents and introduce the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act. A bipartisan UM poll shows eight of 10 Montanans support the act. Our river-loving state deserves a win in the time of COVID.

Many amazing Montanans have worked hard to make these streams wild and scenic for the better part of the last decade. The finish line is in sight, let’s get this done! My career, my family, and our streams thank you for your action.

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Chris Ennis

Bozeman