U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee called for passage of his bipartisan bill to complete the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
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“The Continental Divide Trail Completion Act… is bipartisan, bicameral, will help spur recreation, economic development and grow jobs in Montana and local gateway communities… The tourism and recreation economy that is generated from the trail is a boon to many small towns in Montana. Shuttle services, hotels, restaurants, sporting goods stores and more all benefit from the Continental Divide Trail. In fact, if we look at the state of Montana, outdoor recreation represents one of the state’s largest sectors, contributing nearly $3 billion dollars to the economy, over 27,000 jobs and accounts for 4.4% of the state’s GDP. Our national parks, our forests, our trails all help contribute to Montana’s economy. That’s why it is so important to pass my bipartisan bill to help complete the Continental Divide Trail,” Daines said.
The Continental Divide Trail Completion Act would:
- Direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to establish a Trail Completion Team. This team will be responsible for conducting optimal location reviews, identifying land for acquisition, and working with willing sellers to acquire land. It will include U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff working with the CDT Administrator.
- Recognize the value of cooperation between federal land managers, states, Tribes, towns, Native communities, and others. The Continental Divide Trail Completion Act directs USFS and BLM to maintain close partnerships with stakeholders in developing, maintaining, and managing the trail.
- State that eminent domain will not be used to complete the trail. Land to complete the trail may only be acquired from willing sellers.
Daines introduced the bipartisan Continental Divide Trail Completion Act in October 2022.