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Conservation easement will preserve access, logging on 30,000 acres of forestland near Libby

Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project area near Libby, Montana.
Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project area near Libby, Montana.

Nearly 30,000 acres of forestland in northwestern Montana near Libby is now permanently protected through a conservation easement.

Landowner Stimson Lumber Company partnered with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and The Trust for Public Land to complete Phase II of the Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project.

The Trust for Public Land says the working-forest conservation easement will allow for sustainable timber production, public access and recreation while ensuring protection of water quality and critical habitat for species such as bull trout, grizzlies and Canada lynx. Other species such as elk, moose and mule and white-tailed deer use the landscape as a migratory corridor and winter range.

"This landscape is now protected forever, and that’s just really exciting for the economic reasons but also for the ecological and environmental reasons,” FWP's Dillon Tabish says.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, “Forest Legacy projects in Montana and Idaho have cumulatively helped to conserve over 300,000 acres of working forestlands.”

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