East Rosebud Creek

A view of East Rosebud Creek looking south toward the Beartooth Mountains.

CASEY PAGE/Gazette Staff

A bill to protect portions of East Rosebud Creek in the Beartooth Mountains is advancing in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed the bill on July 13, said Montana Sens. Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Steve Daines, a Republican, in a joint news release.

The measure, Senate Bill 1577, will head to the Senate floor.

The bill would preserve 20 miles of the creek under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act , which originates in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and flows to the Yellowstone River just west of Columbus.

The act preserves rivers with cultural and recreational value in their free-flowing condition. If designated as Wild and Scenic, East Rosebud Creek would become Montana’s first such designation in 40 years.

“I’m glad to see this pass out of my committee and will continue working until this legislation becomes law,” Daines said.

Noting the creek’s cutthroat trout, waterfalls and area grizzly bears, Tester said the creek should be preserved for future generations.

“We greatly appreciate Sens. Tester and Daines working together and moving this legislation forward to protect East Rosebud Creek,” said Leslie Ziegler, president, and Frank Annighofer, vice president, of Friends of East Rosebud.

Annighofer said the senate bill could reach the full Senate this fall.

In addition, Annighofer said, Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., is working with House committee members to get the companion bill moving through House committees.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.