Billings Gazette: East Rosebud Creek to get Wild and Scenic hearing in Senate

A U.S. Senate hearing has been scheduled for March 17 to consider a bill that would protect East Rosebud Creek in the Beartooth Mountains.

The proposal would designate as Wild and Scenic the 13 miles of the creek from its start near Fossil Lake to East Rosebud Lake and the seven-mile stretch from East Rosebud Lake to the Custer National Forest Service boundary. East Rosebud Lake is not included because private property surrounds the lake. Only public land in the National Forest would be part of the Wild and Scenic designation.

Leslie Ziegler, of Friends of East Rosebud, said Friday that the organization has been notified by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., of the March 17 date.

Last year, Daines, along with Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced a bill to protect East Rosebud Creek under the Wild and Scenic Act of 1968. U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Montana Republican, has proposed a similar bill in the House.

Ziegler and Frank Annighofer, of the Friends group, which represents about 2,000 supporters, traveled to Washington, D.C., last week for the fourth time to talk to members of the Senate and House Natural Resources Committees about protecting East Rosebud Creek.

“After 10 meetings over two busy days it looks like there is a fair chance to get our East Rosebud Wild and Scenic River Act passed by the end of the year,” Ziegler and Annighofer said.

Daines and Tester, they said, are “fully behind us, and replies from the Senate committees were very promising.”