HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester to expand wilderness and mandate more logging on federal lands in Montana passed its first test Thursday in a Senate committee despite opposition by Republicans who called the measure unbalanced.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to move the bill out of committee and to the full Senate. It was the first vote on the bill since Tester introduced it in 2009 as a compromise between environmentalists and loggers to break through the gridlock of forest management.

Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter

Recommended for you