March 4, 2022
Chris Hammond | [email protected]
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
490 North Meridian Road
Kalispell, MT 59901
RE: Montana BHA Supports the Proposed Conservation Easement for 113,000 Acres of Timberland in Northwest Montana
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers represents roughly 3,000 dues-paying sportsmen and women concerned with maintaining fish and wildlife habitat and fair-chase hunting and fishing opportunities. We submit this comment in full support of the proposed conservation collaborative effort involving SPP Montana, Green Diamond Resource Company, The Trust for Public Land (TPL), and Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) that would potentially place approximately 113,951 acres of timberland in northwest Montana under a conservation easement.
Our Chapter has previously commented with strong support for the proposed conservation easement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) within the Lost Trail Conservation Area, the Lost Trail Conservation Area itself, and the Kootenai Forest Lands Conservation Easement. Habitat connectivity is vital to maintaining healthy populations of big game animals, threatened and endangered species, and our native fisheries. This proposed project increases habitat continuity and will provide invaluable resources and opportunities to Montanans, particularly those in Sanders, Flathead and Lincoln counties.
We applaud this collaborative effort to perpetuate the long tradition of the Montana public enjoying a strong relationship with private timber companies that offer public recreational access to their lands. Many families in northwest Montana have been hunting and fishing on these lands for generations, and by protecting public access and wildlife habitat, this agreement ensures that these traditions will continue.
Montana BHA greatly appreciates the efforts of TPL, SPP Montana, Green Diamond Resource Company and FWP in protecting important wildlife habitat - including vital winter range - and securing continuing public access in the Big Sky State.
Flathead Board Member
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers