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Monday
Dec102012

FWP approves controversial ranch purchase

People packed a Helena hearing Monday on the Milk River ranch proposal- KRTV photo(HELENA)- Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has given the go-ahead to shell out millions of dollars to purchase several thousand acres of private ranch land on the Hi-Line. 

The state's plans to purchase the Milk River Ranch lands for conservation and wildlife habitat drew heated opposition from adjoining landowners, who worried about the additional public access, as well as critics who were concerned about how much the state was spending for the land. 

However, KRTV reports the commission opted to go ahead with the purchase on a 4-1 vote despite the strong testimony against the plan. 

FWP will spend $4.7 million to purchase 3,000 acres using money from the "Habitat Montana" fund. Montana DNRC is already spending just over $1-million for an additional 1,000 acres. The state will also be buying the rights to archaeological and paleontological artifacts, bringing the total purchase price to nearly $8-million. 

 

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