Below is a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provides transactional knowledge and expertise while serving alongside FWP and private landowners in this three-pronged collaborative effort.
The proposed purchase of a 5,677-acre ranch in Golden Valley County for a new state wildlife management area took a step forward this week and when Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks managers approved an environmental assessment that found no significant roadblocks to the project.
The decision to proceed addresses public comments on the environmental assessment, which were submitted during the past month.
The proposal now goes to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission before it is presented to the Montana Board of Land Commissioners this fall.
It calls for FWP to buy the property from Montana Children’s Home & Hospital, doing business as Shodair Children’s Hospital, for approximately $8.22 million using Federal Pittman Robertson Wildlife Restoration funds for 75 percent of the appraised value and Habitat Montana funds for the remaining 25 percent.
The proposed property is entirely native mountain/foothill and prairie grassland habitats at the base of the Big Snowy Mountains with no farmed or crop land. It provides habitat for a diverse assemblage of species including elk, black bear, mule deer, pronghorn and at least 22 animals listed as species of concern. It is beneficial in maintaining huntable and viewable populations of game and non-game species, both migratory and resident.
The property will not open until after the transaction is completed and FWP has prepared it for public access.
Go here for additional information including the signed decision notice and the full environmental assessment.
(Photo credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)