The following article is from the Helena Independent Record:
In the past six years, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has used $90 million from a variety of new and traditional sources and married it with landowner donations to acquire about 232,000 acres for state parks, wildlife management areas and fishing access sites.
Now the state agency faces the financial hardship of maintaining those and other properties it owns.
The land purchases during Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s administration total almost four times what was bought by or given to FWP during the 12 years of the Marc Racicot and Judy Martz eras combined. From 1993 through 2004, FWP spent $22.9 million on property, and with donated land acquired 56,000 acres. Those administrations also sold off 8,700 acres for $523,650.
Altogether, using state and federal funds, money from hunting and fishing licenses and recreational fees, FWP has paid out $113 million for property and acquired about 288,150 acres (including donated land) during that past 18 years, according to an Independent Record analysis.
“I suppose this administration will best be remembered for finding new opportunities for families to hunt, camp and fish,” Schweitzer said Friday. “I’m proud that we have found the resources to fund land purchases that help Montana families.”
Those acquisitions include large parcels, like the 27,000-acre Spotted Dog property near Avon for $15 million and the 4,740-acre Fish Creek site west of Missoula for $17 million. They also include dozens of smaller sites, including the 75-acre Stuckey Ridge parcel near Anaconda for $265,000; the 37-acre Stipek fishing access site on the Yellowstone River north of Glendive for $164,000; and the 1-acre Scotty Brown Bridge property, adjacent to the Blackfoot Clearwater Game Range, for $97,000.
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CLICK HERE to see the “FWP Fee Title Acquisitions.”
Source: Helena Independent Record
Posted by Haylie Shipp