Guest Post: Senator Jon Tester
In the Last Best Place, the Smith River represents one of the best places to float, fish, and camp, and one of the last places you can escape civilization and truly experience Montana as our ancestors did. That 59 mile stretch between Camp Baker and the Eden Bridge is a gateway to the Montana the first settlers and Native Americans lived in. It’s a gateway to our past and a treasured place for our future.
But some folks from Canada and Australia want to change that, they want to put a large copper mine near the headwaters of the River. I’ve seen the advertisements telling us this mine will be different. They say it will stimulate the economy and create jobs without harming the environment. But Montana history is littered with communities who heard, “this time it will be different,” only to be left polluted and economically devastated. We just can’t afford to take that risk here, and we don’t need to.
The Smith already creates jobs and stimulates the economy all by itself. Folks come from all over the world and pay good money to float it. They even enter into a lottery just for the chance to catch a trout in its pristine waters.
If we don’t protect this Montana gem, those jobs will be gone, the economy of the surrounding communities would change forever, and the Smith would never be the same.
We need to come together to make sure the Smith stays the Smith, and Montana stays the Last Best Place.
Senator Jon Tester is a third-generation Montana farmer, a proud grandfather and a former school teacher. He is the senior Senator from Montana