Neither the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act nor the wild and scenic designation for a portion of East Rosebud Creek made it into the $1.3 trillion 2018 omnibus spending bill working its way through Congress.
The Yellowstone measure would have withdrawn 30,000 acres of federal land in the Absaroka Mountains from mineral development. Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana supported it.
“I fought hard to get the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act into this budget bill," Tester said in an email. "It’s going to take the entire Montana delegation working together to get this done. I can assure you that this fight is not over, we’re going to pass this bill and give the Paradise Valley the protection it needs to keep thriving.”
Montana Sen. Steve Daines has offered to support the measure in return for releasing federal wilderness study areas on national forest lands.
A National Wild and Scenic Rivers System designation for the East Rosebud would have added it to the small list of such treasured streams in the state. Legislation to protect 20 miles of the stream passed the U.S. Senate in December. By putting it in the omnibus bill it would have avoided further debate.
All of Montana's delegates have supported the measure.
“Protecting East Rosebud Creek is a no brainer," Tester said. "It’s some of the most incredible water in the state. I will keep fighting to get this bill across the finish line so the next generation of anglers, outdoorsmen and women can enjoy the wonders of this special place.”