Daines, Rosendale talk forest management at Western Caucus roundtable in Bozeman

HELENA DORE Bozeman Daily Chronicle

BOZEMAN — Montana’s Republican U.S. senator said in an interview on Thursday that when it comes to the federal government’s management of national forests, the single biggest problem is the precedent that resulted from the 2015 “Cottonwood decision.”

“We’ll be much better off in Montana if we have the loggers back in the forests instead of the lawyers. Right now it’s the lawyers who are dominating forest management,” said Sen. Steve Daines, host of Thursday’s Summer Western Caucus Member Roundtable at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture.

The meeting drew at least 15 Republican members of Congress, who were briefed on top issues in Montana and the West. Panelists talked about the recent flooding in Yellowstone National Park, the state of farming, wolf and grizzly bear conservation, and forest management.

Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association Executive Director Mac Minard and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Director Amanda Kaster were among the speakers.

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During the discussion, Daines highlighted efforts to reverse precedent set in a 2015 Ninth Circuit Court of

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