Montana acquires nearly 6,000 acres in Big Snowy Mountains


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The acquisition of nearly 6,000 acres in the Big Snowy Mountains will improve access for Montana elk hunters in 2023. Last week, the Montana State Land Board approved the purchase in a 4-1 vote. The newly-acquired 5,677-acre parcel is located 20 miles north of Ryegate in Golden Valley County, according to Montana Public Radio (MPR), and will become the state’s Big Snowy Mountains Wildlife Management Area (WMA). 

“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 Governor Greg Gianforte.

The land, previously owned by Shodair Children’s Hospital and valued at $8.2 million, will provide access for elk hunting on the adjacent Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service-owned public lands, according to MPR. The state will use federal funds for 75% of the purchase and cover the rest from the state’s Habitat Montana Fund.

The new WMA will be open to the public in May 2023.

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