FWP commission considers conservation easements, land donation

Fish, Wildlife & Parks has been able to preserve some critical habitat thanks to Habitat Montana funds. But a legislative restriction on the money may cause FWP to lose some opportunity.

At Thursday’s meeting, FWP commissioners gave the go-ahead to start negotiations on four conservation easements and one donation of land that would benefit elk, mule deer and sage grouse and, in some cases provide additional access to public land.

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Congressional riders aid conservation easements in Montana

To the surprise of some, Congress passed a few laws to help keep Montana’s land whole and its families on the land.

Since Congress allowed the Land and Water Conservation Act to sunset in September, some have wondered how to save what’s left of rural Montana. But on Friday, the U.S. Senate joined the House of Representatives both in extending the LWCF at least short-term and in allowing tax incentives for conservation easements to become permanent.

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LWCF grant helps preserve habitat near Columbia Falls

 A $2 million federal grant will help preserve logging and habitat in northwestern Montana, but it may be one of the last to do so if Congress doesn’t renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund by Sept. 30.

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded $2 million to the Trust for Public Land to help with the purchase of a conservation easement of almost 7,200 acres in the Trumbull Creek watershed near Columbia Falls.

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