MN BHA Supports Mineral Rights Acquisition

From: Greg L Munther, Chairman, Montana Chapter

To: Rebecca Cooper
MT Dept Fish Wildlife and Parks
PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701

Dear Ms Cooper:

Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers expresses its wholehearted support of proposed acquisition of hard rock mineral rights on 29,844 acres of the Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Our members are committed to habitat protection of both important wildlife and fish habitats, including those in the Fish Creek area of western Montana. Many of us have a long history of hunting and fishing in the drainage, and welcomed recent public acquisition of 40,000 acres including surface rights to be managed by Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks. We understand restoration of unneeded roads is already occurring.

Separated mineral estates leaves open the risks associated with mineral exploration and development. Acquiring mineral rights on a large percentage of these lands will reduce the risk of surface disturbance detrimental to both wildlife security and water quality. Roads and other scars from mineral exploration are all too common legacies across Montana.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

s/greg munther
Greg Munther
Chairman, Montana Chapter

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