PNS Daily Newscast - July 14, 2020 

The Trump administration issues talking points challenging health expert Fauci; Latinos challenge voting system in Washington State.

2020Talks - July 14, 2020 

Maine has its statewide primaries today; Texas and Alabama have primary runoffs. And lawsuits abound against the White House's new ICE rule, threatening to deport international students taking only online courses.

Big Sky Rivers Act – a Buffer for Recreation and Fish

February 20, 2009

Helena, MT – Montana legislators are considering new regulations for buildings along all or parts of ten rivers. Lawmakers held a public hearing yesterday on the Big Sky Rivers Act, which would establish a 250-foot setback on the Yellowstone, Gallatin, Missouri, Clark Fork and Flathead Rivers, among others. The Act's purpose is to preserve recreation values and wildlife habitat, according to its proponents, by restricting new residential buildings from within the setback area.

Jim Klug owns an outfitting company and supports the setbacks because of the rapid pace of development on river banks over the past 20 years, He blames that development for degrading water quality and wildlife habitat.

"As a fly-fishing outfitter here in the area, someone who relies on healthy trout streams and beautiful scenery, from a business perspective, it makes good sense for Montana and for our economy."

The setback wouldn't affect access to the river for property owners, adds Klug, and would protect new buildings from flooding. which he believes will make shoreline properties more valuable.

"It’s good for homeowners and property owners. All it’s going to do is increase the value of their property, by keeping them pristine and beautiful."

The bill would not affect existing buildings, outbuildings, or livestock grazing, and would “grandfather in” planned projects. Opponents claim the law would unfairly limit private property rights.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT