BOZEMAN, Mont. — Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen joined Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) staff on a tour of state trust lands in the Bozeman area on Monday. The visit provided updates on commercial leases on state trust lands, highlighting the development stages of each.
Fellow Land Board member and State Auditor Troy Downing, along with staff for Superintendent Elsie Arntzen, joined Secretary Jacobsen on Monday’s visit.
In April 2023, Secretary Jacobsen and the Land Board approved a commercial lease agreement on roughly 382 acres of land near Belgrade. The focus of the development is affordable and attainable housing with a “multi-phased approach consisting of mixed-use residential, neighborhood commercial, large commercial, and light industrial,” according to the DNRC.
The proposal included a plan for 4,000 residential dwelling units, 60 acres for the construction of two schools for the Belgrade School District, and three acres for the Central Valley Fire Department to construct a new fire hall to serve the community.
“It was great to see the progress and updates of the various commercial lease agreements being utilized on Montana’s state trust lands,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “I voted to approve these various projects to help generate revenue for our Montana schools, and it’s great to put feet on the ground to see their status.”
“Thank you to the DNRC staff for providing us with these visits, and thank you for the great work throughout the year to maximize revenue and usage of our state lands,” she added.
Secretary Jacobsen is an avid user of public lands and supported multiple acquisitions to increase Montana’s public land use, including the Big Snowy Mountains Wildlife Management Area (WMA) that increased access to nearly 100,000 acres south of Lewistown.
The Big Snowy Mountains WMA opened to the public earlier this year.