September 18, 2020
Mr. Rick Northrup
Wildlife Habitat Bureau Chief, FLP Program Mgr.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1420 East 6th Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620
RE: Montana Great Outdoors Conservation Project
Dear Mr. Northrup,
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (Montana BHA) represents nearly 3,000 public land owners concerned with fish and wildlife habitat, fair chase hunting and fishing opportunities and public access. Montana BHA strongly supports the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Forest Legacy Program (FLP) and its use in Lincoln, Flathead, and Sanders Counties to conserve privately-managed forestland and to increase access for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities, specifically on the Montana Great Outdoors Conservation Project. We understand The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) are applying for FLP dollars to conserve approximately 130,000 acres of SPP Montana, LLC (SPP) land in northwestern Montana.
Our constituents will be able to access 130,000 acres of public open space for non-commercial, outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing and foraging. In addition to the recreational benefits, these forestlands protect the scenic landscape for its natural scenic values and fish and wildlife habitat along the Thompson Chain of Lakes corridor between Libby and Kalispell, Montana.
The quality of life in northwestern Montana has been enhanced through previous FLP-funded projects. Thank you for your efforts on this once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the 130,000 acres within the Montana Great Outdoors Conservation Project. If you need any assistance, please contact us at your convenience.
Molly VandeVoort, Flathead Board Member (Whitefish/Columbia Falls/Kalispell)
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers