State Land Board approves the purchase of 6,000 acres in the Big Snowy Mountains
The Montana State Land Board approved the acquisition of almost 6,000 acres in the Big Snowy Mountains on Monday. The land will now become the state’s newest wildlife management area.
A 4-1 vote by the State Land Board finalized the purchase in the Big Snowy Mountains by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The land, 20 miles south of Lewiston, had been owned by Shodair Children’s Hospital and is valued at $8.2 million. Seventy-five percent of the money will come from federal funds, while the rest will come from the state’s Habitat Montana Fund.
The land transfer will improve access for elk hunting on adjacent Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service-owned public lands, which Governor Greg Gianforte said was a reason he voted for the purchase.
“We have many sections of land across the state that are isolated with no access to them,.and when there are opportunities to consolidate the state’s real estate and open up increased access, I’m in favor of that,” said Gianforte.
Attorney General Austion Knudsen was the sole opposing vote. The parcel will open to the public in May 2023.