August 16, 2022
Lisa Timchak - Forest Supervisor
420 Barrett Street
Dillon, MT 59725
RE: Point of Rocks Acquisition
On behalf of our roughly 3,000-dues paying members in the Big Sky State, the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers submits this comment in support of the proposed 417-acre Point of Rocks Land Acquisition located Madison County, MT.
Montana’s outdoor recreation economy is responsible for generating $7.1 billion in consumer spending and an estimated 71,000 jobs. Now more than ever, it’s important to recognize the economic engine fueled by our public lands and access to them.
Acquisition of this parcel would improve legal and physical access to the adjacent 339 acres of BLM land and 2,419 acres of National Forest System land, providing a total improved public access area of 2,757 acres in the Tobacco Root Mountains. The nearest legal public access points to the abutting NFS lands are approximately five miles to the northeast at Bone Basin and approximately three miles to the southeast in Mill Canyon, so this acquisition is well placed and needed.
It is also worth noting that this property provides year-round habitat for pronghorn and critical winter range for elk, mule deer and moose. As conflicts increase over wintering concentrations of elk on private lands, providing cold-weather habitat that reduces undo stresses on private ands is needed and very timely. Our friends at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation understand this need, and we appreciate their involvement in making this project a reality.
Our members value the public access, quality habitat and the fair-chase hunting opportunities that this acquisition would provide. For those reasons the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers offers our full support of the proposed Point of Rocks Acquisition using Land
and Water Conservation Fund dollars..
Access Solutions Board Member
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers