July 17, 2018
Contact: David Moryc, 503-307-1137
Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
Bozeman – In a major victory for public lands and waters, a bipartisan House vote today advanced Wild and Scenic River protection for Montana’s East Rosebud Creek.
The legislation to designate 20 miles of East Rosebud Creek on the Custer Gallatin National Forest as Wild and Scenic was introduced by U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte (R). His bill, H.R. 4645, mirrors existing legislation (S.501) that passed the Senate by unanimous consent last December. The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D) and co-sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines (R).
“This is a great testament to all the local residents who have worked so hard for so many years to protect this special river,” said Scott Bosse, American Rivers’ Northern Rockies Director in Bozeman. “It also demonstrates the bipartisan nature of protecting healthy rivers. Every Montanan will benefit from the passage of this bill.”
Protection of East Rosebud Creek has robust support from local homeowners, ranchers, businesses, sportsmen and conservationists. Assuming the bill clears one more procedural hurdle in the Senate and President Trump signs it into law, it will mark the first new Wild and Scenic designation to advance in 2018, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. And, it will be the first Wild and Scenic River protected in Montana in 42 years.
The campaign to permanently protect East Rosebud Creek started in 2009, when Bozeman-based Hydrodynamics Inc. applied for a permit to build a hydropower project just below the outlet of East Rosebud Lake. The project, which would have been located on federal public land within the Wild and Scenic eligible reach, would have entailed building an eight-foot high, 100-foot wide diversion dam, a two-mile long penstock, substation, powerhouse and transmission lines.
American Rivers and our conservation partners filed formal objections to the project and eventually convinced the hydropower company to abandon it in 2013. The formal protection afforded by the Wild and Scenic designation will forever prohibit construction of new dams or other harmful projects on East Rosebud Creek.
East Rosebud Creek tumbles from the Beartooth Plateau near Granite Peak, (Montana’s highest at 12,807 feet) and flows into the Stillwater River, a tributary of the Yellowstone. The area is a popular destination for trout anglers, whitewater paddlers, hikers, and rock climbers.
About American Rivers
American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 275,000 members, supporters and volunteers.