KALISPELL — Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) are proposing a purchase of conservation easement to protect more than 27,000 acres of timberland near Libby.
The proposed property is owned by Stimson Lumber Company and would remain privately owned if the easement is approved. Under the easement, Stimson would continue to manage the land with public access remaining open for hunting and fishing.
Spokesman Dillon Tabish said FWP received 68 comments in support of the purchase with only two opposing.
Tabish said the purchase would prevent Stimson from selling off portions of the land for residential and commercial development, protecting important wildlife habitats.
“That basically would allow them to continue forestry practices, but it would not allow them to subdivide it, or if they decide they want to sell it for residential or commercial development, that would be prohibited, and then it also permanently ensures public access,” said Tabish.
The Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission will vote on the proposed purchase during their Oct. 28 meeting.