June 14, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Daily Inter Lake
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is holding its public review of a proposal to work with The Trust for Public Land to conserve 13,398 acres of Weyerhaeuser property nine miles northwest of Whitefish. (highlighting added)
The state wildlife agency has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal and environmental assessment at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish for Wednesday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. The hearing will provide interested organizations and private individuals an opportunity to ask questions about the proposed project and submit public comments.
Under the proposal, the land trust organization would acquire the entire project area from Weyerhaeuser by the end of September 2017. Fish, Wildlife and Parks would purchase the Lazy Creek Conservation Easement, encompassing 10,218 acres of the property, in two phases through a combination of state and federal funding.
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation would purchase the underlying fee ownership from the land trust once the conservation easement is in place. The Bonneville Power Administration would provide funding for the purchase of the remaining 3,180 acres in the Swift Creek watershed.
In exchange for their funding, BPA would retain a perpetual conservation easement with ownership of these sections being transferred to either DNRC or FWP.
The environmental assessment for the proposal evaluates the purchase of the Lazy Creek Conservation Easement and the potential for FWP to assume ownership of land in the Swift Creek drainage. DNRC’s potential actions are subject to a separate review and approval process.
The draft environmental assessment is out for a 30-day public review ending Wednesday, July 12, at 5 p.m. Copies are available at the state agency’s regional office in Kalispell at 490 North Meridian Road and online at
Comments can be submitted to: Nancy Ivy, Fish, Wildlife and Parks; 490 North Meridian Road; Kalispell, MT 59901. Or call 406-751-4579 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org