The Nature Conservancy in Montana has finalized a 12,308-acre transaction with the US Forest Service that improves forest management, retains recreational access and protects wildlife habitat in the headwaters of the Blackfoot and Clearwater rivers.
The Missoulian article points out the unique and valuable recreational and conservation aspects of the project, which transfers the lands into public ownership managed by the USFS:
The mountains harbor significant populations of deer and elk, threatened bull trout and grizzly bears. They are also popular with snowmobilers and backcountry skiers, anglers, backpackers, berry-pickers and mountain bikers. The Rattlesnake and Mission Mountain wilderness areas and the Flathead Indian Reservation’s South Jocko Primitive Area border this forest.
“This is the culmination of a great partnership with TNC and other partners in that particular landscape,” said Lolo District Ranger Jen Hensiek, whose jurisdiction abuts Carver’s. “I know our kids and kids’ kids are going to be able to enjoy that landscape. It allows more wildlife continuity, more recreation access into those areas, and into the (Rattlesnake) national recreation area. And I know it comes with some work.”