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Group To Discuss Forest Legacy Conservation Projects

Fish & Wildlife

Friday, July 31, 2009

A committee of state and federal officials and private landowners will meet in Missoula, Aug. 11, to evaluate two Forest Legacy grant proposals for the year 2011 totaling $9.5 million.

Forest Legacy projects seek to increase available wildlife habitat, provide public access, maintain productive forests for timber products or protect the health of watersheds.

The proposals to be evaluated focus on the Birch Creek Demonstration Forest, near Kalispell; and the Clearwater Lands Project, near Seeley Lake.  

The five-member Forest Legacy Committee, representing private landowners, federal and state agencies, reviews and recommends Forest Legacy grant proposals for funding. Projects approved by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the U.S. Forest Service, go to the U.S. Congress for final approval.  

Through the Forest Legacy Program, the USFS provides 75 percent of the cost of purchasing conservation easements or fee title sales of private land. The remaining 25 percent is from non-federal sources, including private landowners.

FWP is responsible for administering the program, informing private landowners of the grant process, identifying needs, and assisting in the development of successful projects. FWP is also responsible, for monitoring and managing completed Forest Legacy projects.

The meeting is open to the public. Public comments will be heard following the scheduled presentations.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation conference room, 2705 Spurgin Rd. in Missoula. For information call Steve Knapp at 406-444-4717.