Montana conservation easement protects prime wildlife habitat

Posted: Dec 21, 2012

Written by

TRISTAN SCOTT, The Missoulian
Kootenai River

A conservation project on 28,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat in northwest Montana’s lower Kootenai River valley offers permanent access and protection to tracts of land with high conservation values, while continuing to support recreation and local timber jobs.

The land was sold Wednesday by Stimson Lumber Co. as a conservation easement to the Trust for Public Land and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, which will manage the easement. The project cost $12.8 million and means the land cannot be sold privately for subdivisions. It will remain a working forest with permanent public access and a high standard of species conservation, said Alex Diekmann of the Trust for Public Land.

The project received wide support by local hunters and anglers, wildlife groups and other recreational users, many of whom access the area from their back doors and nearby U.S. Forest Service roads, said Jim Williams, FWP’s regional wildlife manager.

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