Protect the Blackfoot

In this Washington Post column, John Maclean, son of "A River Runs Through It," author Norman Maclean, urges Montana Sen. Steve Daines to stop blocking wilderness protection for headwater streams of the Big Blackfoot River.

When Maclean's novella was turned into a film by director Robert Redford in the early 1990s, the Blackfoot was considered too degraded to be used for filming river scenes. Decades of habitat worked have returned the river to its former glory, however. The wilderness effort would protect streams that fill the Blackfoot with cold, clean water, protecting the river from the ravages of late summer heat.

In exchange for protecting these streams, Daines wants to remove protection for wild lands elsewhere in Montana. Maclean says conservation isn't a zero-sum game, and Daines is holding popular legislation hostage.

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