Governor Steve Bullock today toured the new Birdtail conservation easement which provides public access to 3,980 acres of land for hunting and wildlife viewing and habitat for deer, elk, game birds and other wildlife.
“Montanans take great pride in the preservation and access to our lands, and can do so this hunting season knowing that thousands of acres here in Cascade and elsewhere across the state are available for their recreational enjoyment,” said Governor Bullock. “I’m thankful to the Montana landowners who work hard to not only make further outdoor opportunities available, but also sustain the landscapes and wildlife we care deeply about.”
The purchase of the easement was made possible after Governor Bullock successfully overturned an attorney general opinion that blocked closure on pending conservation easement projects with Montana landowners. The decision by the Montana Supreme Court last year allows final approval of conservation easements by the Fish and Wildlife Commission, rather than the Land Board, preventing delay on potential access to thousands of acres across the state.
The Birdtail conservation easement is located approximately 13 miles north of Cascade, Montana and is significant to conserving important wildlife habitat, preventing subdivision development, and guaranteeing public recreational access in perpetuity to the property owned by the Rumney Cattle Company.
“It is always really important to us that people have a place to hunt, and this was a really good vehicle to accomplish that. The land will not be developed, and it will remain in our family,” landowner Bob Rumney said.
The conservation easement is part of the Habitat Montana program, which uses fees from hunting licenses to promote wildlife conservation and public access. It is administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Governor Bullock restored funding to the Habitat Montana program in the 2017 legislative session.