Tag Archives: Steve Daines

Missoulian editorial: Daines, Walsh should team up to pass North Fork bill

The Missoulian is not pleased with the political posturing holding up the North Fork Watershed Protection Act . . .

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines might want to have a little chat with some his Republican counterparts in the Senate.

Three of them in particular: Ted Cruz of Texas, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

These three U.S. Senators blocked passage of the no-nonsense, common-sense North Fork Watershed Protection Act through the Senate. A similar measure has already been passed by the House – thanks to Daines’ sponsorship.

Read more . . .

North Fork – one more step forward

The Missoula Independent gave the North Fork Watershed Protection Act some attention this week . . .

Earlier this month, the U.S. House passed the North Fork Watershed Protection Act in what conservationists hailed as a critical step for wildlife and clean water in northwest Montana. That approval, secured by Rep. Steve Daines, marks the most significant advancement yet in a fight former Sen. Max Baucus waged over four decades in Congress.

The moment itself passed quickly, in a manner typically used to approve small, non-controversial bills. The measure’s speedy passage on the House floor was attributed to the widespread bipartisan support it has gained over time. Proponents now include county commissions, city officials, chambers of commerce, sporting groups and business leaders across western Montana. Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP America and ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy have backed the bill as well.

Read more . . .

Frank Vitale: Daines not a conservation hero

Long-time NFPA member Frank Vitale has a few things to say about Congeressman Steve Daines’ rather uneven support for conservation issues. This letter to the editor was published in this week’s Hungry Horse News and is also scheduled to appear in a number of other papers.

While I feel Congressman Steve Daines’ introduction of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013 is a great step forward, let’s not frame him as a conservation hero. With his political ambitions it would be political suicide if he didn’t support protection of the North Fork.

But let’s look at his overall conservation track record. First of all, he has dragged his feet on supporting one of the largest and most important pieces of conservation legislation in decades: The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. Rather than getting behind this broad-based, made-in-Montana collaborative he stands to be the biggest spoiler. The Heritage Act is a plan that’s truly citizen based and represents many stakeholders. Support for its protection has been overwhelming. The Front also has some of the wildest country left in the lower 48. Under the Act most traditional uses will remain intact while protecting the most incredible landscapes and diverse ecosystems in Montana.

Then, Steve Daines introduces House Bill HR1526 that would probably make even most folks in the timber industry cringe. He basically throws the collaborative process out the window. His bill would impose mandatory timber targets for the Forest Service. This takes us back to the dark ages – when collaboration was nonexistent – back to the days of the timber wars of the 1970’s and ’80’s.

So is Steve Daines a conservation hero? I hardly think so. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act – while good – is also an easy bone to throw at the conservation community.

Frank Vitale

North Fork Watershed Protection Act passes U.S. House

Well, now. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act just passed the U.S. House this afternoon . . .

The House of Representatives passed the North Fork Watershed Protection Act by voice vote on Tuesday afternoon, passing the issue back to the Senate for final approval.

Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told his colleagues the bill was the first landscape protection act in nearly 30 years to get support from the whole state congressional delegation. Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh, both Democrats, have also pushed it on their side of the Capitol.

“Sen. Max Baucus began working on this bill since his very first year in Congress, in 1974,” Daines said of the state’s former senior senator, who retired in February. “I’m proud to be part of the effort to get it done and across the finish line.”

Read more . . .

Further reading: North Fork Watershed Protection Act Passes U.S. House (Flathead Beacon)

MTPR radio does segment on North Fork Watershed Protection Act

MTPR radio did a segment yesterday morning on the North Fork Watershed Protection Act, including a brief interview with Michael Jamison of the NPCA . . .

A major element for protection of the North Fork Flathead River Valley moved forward this week. Representative Steve Daines announced a bill that retires many oil and gas leases in the area unanimously passed the House Natural Resources Committee. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013 would restrict new mineral development in the North Fork of the Flathead.

This House bill mirrors one introduced by Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus.

Glacier Program Manager Michael Jamison with the National Parks Conservation Association said the issue was taken up by Senator Baucus when he was first in office, in the late 1970’s. At the time there were several proposals for mountain-top-removal coal mines in the Canadian Flathead.

Read more/listen to the segment . . .

North Fork Watershed Protection Act clears House panel

Here is the Daily Inter Lake’s write-up on the North Fork Watershed Protection Act’s progress through the U.S. House . . .

A bill aimed at protecting national forest lands west of Glacier National Park cleared a key House Committee Tuesday, drawing praise from local supporters.

Known as the North Fork Watershed Protection Act and sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the bill would withdraw 362,000 acres of public lands from future oil and gas leasing and development, hard-rock mining and geothermal development.

Similar legislation sponsored by Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester has been advancing in the Senate.

“The North Fork bill is a great example of people of all walks of alife coming together and developing local solutions for public lands issues,” said Chris Schustrom of the Flathead Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “This bill will help ensure that traditional land uses and fish and wildlife habitat in the valley are protected in perpetuity.”

Read more . . .

North Fork Watershed Protection Act gets past House Natural Resources Committee without opposition

The House version of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act easily passed its first hurdle this morning . . .

Legislation to protect the North Fork of the Flathead River from energy development passed a crucial congressional milestone early Tuesday morning.

The House Natural Resources Committee approved its version of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act without opposition, according to Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., authored the measure and got it passed through the Senate Natural Resources Committee last June. That puts the bill in position for votes by both chambers.

“The North Fork is widely treasured as a precious corner of our state, a place where we harvest timber, we hunt and fish, and lead trips into the adjacent Glacier National Park,” Daines said in an email statement on Tuesday. “The local community wants to continue using this watershed of the river to benefit their local economy – which is largely outdoor recreation based.”

Read more . . .

North Fork watershed protection bill gets warm reception in U.S. House

Hearings in the U.S. House of representatives on the North Fork Watershed Protection Act are going well . . .

A bipartisan bill to protect the North Fork of the Flathead River from mining and energy development got a warm reception in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., presented his version of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act to the House Natural Resources Committee, along with Whitefish City Councilman John Anderson. The bill is a companion of legislation by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., that passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June.

A spokesman from Stoltze Lumber Co. was unable to make Thursday’s hearing in person, but Daines testified to a list of other backers that included the Montana Logging Association, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Citizens for Balanced Use, the Wilderness Society and ConocoPhillips.

Read more . . .

Pro-logging bill would ramp up timber sales

Here’s more information on U.S. Representative Steve Daines’ pro-logging bill . . .

A pro-logging bill making its way through Congress would dramatically revise forest management throughout the country, ramping up timber production four-fold on the Flathead National Forest, while dramatically increasing harvests on all of the state’s national forests and restricting litigation designed to halt those projects for environmental scrutiny.

The “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act,” or H.R. 1526, was co-authored by U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and passed the House of Representatives Sept. 20 on a 244-173 vote.

The bill mandates annual harvests of one-half the U.S. Forest Service’s long-term sustainable yield for each national forest, matching the statewide harvest rates that were commonplace two decades ago.

Read more . . .

House bill mandates logging on 50 percent of available timberland

The U.S. House passed the initial version (it’s evidently a bargaining chip) of the “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act” Friday . . .

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act on Friday, mandating logging on 50 percent of the U.S. Forest Service’s available timberland and erecting barriers to legal challenges of timber sales.

Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., a co-sponsor of the legislation, said it will mean a major boost for the Montana logging industry…

Daines attached two amendments to the bill on Thursday and Friday. One would require the Forest Service to provide an annual one-page statement of revenues from timber sales to track harvest progress. The other would bar courts from issuing temporary injunctions on timber projects while they’re being challenged in court.

The Obama administration announced Wednesday it would probably veto the bill if it reached the White House in its current form. The bill also drew fire from some conservation groups.

Read more . . .