Senator Jon Tester says a forest management reform bill co-sponsored by Montana Republican Ryan Zinke that recently passed in the U.S. House will have a tougher time in the Senate. The bill scales back environmental reviews for some timber projects, and makes it harder to file lawsuits that delay thinning projects.
Tester says he appreciates the House effort to pursue timber reform, which he says must remain a top priority.
"It's going to be hard to pass that in the Senate. You need to get as many different groups together as you possibly can so you can build coalitions in the Senate to pass stuff. When it comes to forest management, it is a hot topic. The more people you can get together,the more groups in the Senate you can bring together - the better off you're going to be as far as solving this problem."
Tester says the House's "Resilient Federal Forests Act" focuses too heavily on cutting timber. He says he'd like to see more wilderness designation and recreational opportunities in any final forest management reform.