HELENA, Mont. -

Three U.S. senators blocked a floor vote on legislation to protect the North Fork Flathead River.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and John Walsh of Montana called for the vote Thursday afternoon. They are sponsoring the bill, which would bar mining and oil and gas development on hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land west of Glacier National Park.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey objected on behalf of Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

Tester says the legislation "fell victim to a few folks who can't even find the Flathead River on a map."

A similar measure by Republican U.S. Steve Daines passed the House last month.

Daines says the Democratic Senate majority could pass the bill if it wanted to.