Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
490 North Meridian Road
Kalispell, MT 59901
RE: Montana BHA Supports the Kootenai Forest Lands Conservation Easement
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers represents more than 3,000 sportsmen and women concerned with maintaining fish and wildlife habitat and traditional, non-motorized hunting and fishing opportunities. Our Montana Chapter includes many members who hunt and fish in the Kootenai National Forest and the surrounding timber lands.
Montana BHA strongly supports the conservation easement to permanently protect public access and critical wildlife habitat on the 22,295 acres in the greater Libby area. Habitat connectivity is vital to maintaining healthy populations of big game animals, threatened and endangered species, and our native fisheries.
Hunter numbers continue to decline in Montana and across the country. Lack of access to hunting land is often cited as the main reason hunters are giving up the sport. Lumber companies are also continuing to sell off their holdings across the West, meaning lands that were once available to hunters and anglers are now off limits. Montana has long enjoyed a relationship with lumber companies that provide public recreational access to their private timber lands. Many families in northwest Montana have been hunting and fishing on these lands for generations, and protecting public access and wildlife habitat will ensure that future generations will be able to continue to enjoy these very same places.
Montana BHA greatly appreciates the efforts of FWP and Stimson Lumber Company in protecting important wildlife habitat - including vital winter range - and securing continuing public access in the Big Sky State.
Molly Elliott, Region 1 Board Member – Columbia Falls, MT
Aaron Agosto, Member – Kalispell, MT
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers