HELENA, Mont. — Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen was one of four members of the Montana Land Board to approve the state’s purchase of nearly 5,700 acres at the base of the Big Snowy Mountains this week. The acquisition will provide improved public access to nearly 100,000 acres, granting more opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreation.
The land will also remain available for cattle grazing after the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) proposed a covenant in the vesting deed at the request of Governor Greg Gianforte.
“Montanans will now have additional opportunities to access more of our beautiful state,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “It’s also important that Montana ranchers continue to have grazing options, and the Big Snowy acquisition will benefit both Montana agriculture and public recreation.”
Secretary Jacobsen and the Land Board approved the purchase Monday, creating the Big Snowy Mountains Wildlife Management Area north of Ryegate in Golden Valley County. The property is “winter range and year-round habitat for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn, as well as habitat for black bear, white-tailed deer, and other native species,” according to Montana FWP.
Once the transaction is complete, FWP will prepare the property for access before its official opening to the public.