Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

FWP One Step Closer To Big Arm State Park Land Purchase

Big Arm State Park.
Big Arm State Park.
Big Arm State Park.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is one step closer to purchasing the land that makes up Big Arm State Park on Flathead Lake. Officials says the deal is critical to maintaining the important public access point on the lake. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation released an environmental assessment Tuesday outlining how much FWP would need to pay for a permanent easement for the land the park sits on.

DNRC currently leases the land to FWP. Those proceeds help pay for schools, but as the value of lakeshore property has increased, so too have the annual lease payments, which are legally required to be at market value.

Dave Landstrom with FWP says this assessment outlines two options for a one-time payment that would give the agency permanent control of the property.

“That fulfills DNRC’s mission of generating revenue for schools in Montana and it would also facilitate FWP then continuting to maintain that important recreation site on Flathead Lake for camping and boating and fishing,” Landstrom said.

Under the assessment, FWP could pay a little over $8 million for the current 218-acre parcel or $10.6 million for that land and another 23 acres. Earlier this year, the state Legislature appropriated $12 million for FWP to purchase the easement.

“And as you can see from the proposal there, we came in below that, significantly below that. So, that helps us out a great deal,” Landstrom said.

Public comment on the assessment is open through Jan. 3.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content