By HALEY ANDERSON/Montana State News

The Montana Backcountry Alliance and Montana Wilderness Association hosted the Backcountry Film Festival Thursday to promote awareness of Sen. John Tester’s Land Recreation Act.

Nearly 100 of Bozeman’s outdoor enthusiasts gathered at the Emerson Cultural Center Thursday night to support MWA and MBA as well as Tester’s bill.

The Land Recreation Act would create jobs within Montana forests, protect hunting and fishing for future generations as well as protect clean water.

Established in 1958, MWA claims to be the oldest grassroots association in the nation. The organization has gained considerable support from the Bozeman community while getting the festival showing off the ground.

“The night was student organized, but community supported,” saud Ben Goldstein, a Montana State University student and MWA member, “we hope to engage the (MSU) student body politically by giving them the information on how they can impact Montana from a wilderness perspective.”

The evening hosted nine different short films with backcountry skiers tackling mountain ranges in both the United States and overseas.

The MWA hopes to host other information sessions and backcountry promotional events in the future.

To contact them or find out more information visit <www.montanabackcountry.org> or find them on Facebook by searching Montana Backcountry alliance.

Edited by Megan Higgins.

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