Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
1420 East 6th Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
RE: Forest Legacy Lost Trail Conservation Project
Dear Mr. Northrup:
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers would like to express our support for the Forest Legacy Lost Trail Conservation easement project. Our organization includes more than 2,400 avid Montana resident hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts. Most of our members have outdoor families as well. Many of our members in the northwest part of the state already use this area.
This conservation easement would be obtained from Weyerhaeuser Company who currently owns the 6,500-acre project area. This conservation easement has several attributes important to our members.
First, this easement assures a current large block of wildlife habitat will remain intact. Several wildlife species are dependent on large contiguous blocks as secure habitat. This acreage under a solid conservation easement would also provide a lasting movement corridor for transitory wildlife passing through the area.
Second, this easement would assure continued access for hunters and opportunity to hunt a large block of habitat that has been available through the generosity of large timber companies in the past. In many cases, continued timber harvest in this easement agreement can benefit species dependent on seral vegetation, including deer, elk and moose.
Third, although many of our members hunt, they also appreciate and enjoy wildlife in non-consumptive viewing, especially with their families. This easement adjacent to the Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge better assures the wildlife assemblage found there will be able to find lasting secure habitat with the establishment of this perpetual easement.
We support and appreciate the efforts of both Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, as well as The Trust for Public Lands, working together to secure FY 2020 Forest Legacy Program funds to complete this project. Without completion of this easement project we fear he rapidly expanding development in the area would threaten the future of this property.
Greg Munther, Board Conservation Coordinator
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers