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Montana wildlife panel endorses federal legislation to add protections to Rocky Mountain Front

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HELENA, Montana — Montana fish and wildlife commissioners are endorsing federal legislation to expand protections along the Rocky Mountain Front.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission passed a resolution Thursday supporting the Rocky Mountain Heritage Act.

The bill would add more than 67,000 acres of new wilderness to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and grants less-restrictive protections to another 208,000 acres. It also calls for a plan to eradicate noxious weeds in the area.

Commissioners say the legislation is a collaborative effort to protect the landscape that is a valued destination for hunters.

A Senate committee advanced the bill by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus last fall, before the Montana Democrat resigned. The full Senate has not taken up the measure.

Montana Sens. Jon Tester and John Walsh are co-sponsors of the bill.

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