This week, Montana's Governor Greg Gianforte welcomed the purchase of 5,700 acres in the Big Snowy Mountain Range.

This purchase provides Montanans access to 100,000 acres of state and federal lands.

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Greg Gianforte had this to say:

The state has a vested interest in seeing land conserved for wildlife habitat while also keeping ranchers on the landscape for the benefit of our communities. We married those two interests in this agreement, keeping the land available for cattle grazing while opening access for hunters to pristine wildlife habitat in the Big Snowies. This is a win-win for Montana.

Currently, the land is under a cattle-grazing lease and is entirely native mountain/foothill and prairie grassland habitats with no farmed or cropland. It's excellent habitat, and great access to the Big Snowy's elk herd, along with black bears, mule deer, pronghorn, and 22 other listened species.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation celebrated the decision, with President and CEO Kyle Weaver having this to say today:

This project is an organizational priority and a tremendous victory for elk, other wildlife, conservation, public access and Montanans across the state. We’re grateful for ardent support from Governor Gianforte, the Land Board and our partners at Shodair and FWP as well as RMEF members and sportsmen and women. It’s a great day.

At the request of the governor, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) proposed a covenant to the vesting deed for the property requiring the state to keep the land available for cattle grazing.

The property will not open until after the transaction is completed and FWP has prepared it for public access.

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