Montana’s free-flowing rivers and clean water are critical to our state’s prosperity, our unmatched way of life, and to our flourishing fish and wildlife. From the Flathead to the Yellowstone, from the Clark Fork to the Missouri, rivers are the lifeblood of Montana. They provide us with drinking water, irrigation water, and world-class recreational opportunities. Montana’s traditional agricultural economy and our rapidly growing $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy thrive on the abundance of healthy rivers and clean water. All Montanans – anglers and agriculture producers, cowboys and kayakers – understand our state’s history is tied to our rivers. Now is the time to conserve the most important headwaters streams on Montana’s public lands.
Starting in 2010, Montana residents, business owners, sportsmen and sportswomen, and conservationists joined forces under the banner of Montanans for Healthy Rivers to identify and conserve the last, best free-flowing rivers in Montana. After nearly decade of public outreach during which we conducted hundreds of meetings and earned the endorsements of nearly 3,000 Montanans and more than 1,000 Montana businesses, we have drafted The Montana Headwaters Security Act. Once it passes, this legislation will designate 37 new Wild & Scenic Rivers in two of Montana’s most iconic landscapes – the Crown of the Continent surrounding Glacier National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone National Park, protecting our outdoor recreation and agriculture jobs and guaranteeing that our Montana way of life will endure for generations to come. Montana still has what the rest of the country wants – plentiful clean water and free-flowing streams, and we Montanans know there are some waters that are too important to jeopardize. Let’s not be complacent and wait for the next threat from out of state water interests. Now is the time to act. The Montana Headwaters Security Act is our made-in-Montana insurance plan to keep our rivers healthy in the face of a changing climate and rapid population growth. Join us in conserving Montana’s next Wild & Scenic Rivers.