The Montana Department Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is proposing that the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission and the state land board accept the donation of 68 acres of land adjoining the Calf Creek Wildlife Management Area northeast of Hamilton. The donation of the land is being offered by landowner Ms. Christopher Young.
The Calf Creek WMA, which currently consists of 2,333 acres, was acquired by the agency in 1960 for elk winter range. The proposed 68-acre addition shares almost a half mile of common boundary with the WMA. The parcel is not forested and has been historically grazed. The primary benefit, according to FWP, would be an enhanced ability to manage public access during open and closed periods on the WMA as well as avoiding subdivision development where the impacts on wildlife habitat may be significant. The property would be open to non- motorized access from April 15 through December 1, along with the rest of Calf Creek WMA.
FWP prepared an Environmental Assessment and a socio-economic assessment in September and held a public hearing on the proposal. All the public comment was in favor of accepting the donated land. Testimony at the public hearing included the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association, Corvallis High School’s Classroom Without Walls and three neighboring landowners. No objections or concerns were received from the public.
“The addition of this 68 acres will add important contiguous elk habitat to the Calf Creek WMA, and conserve a relic native sagebrush-grassland of importance to a variety of wildlife,” said FWP Region 2 Supervisor Mack Long.
FWP will request approval for its acceptance of the land at the monthly FWP Commission meeting scheduled for November 10 in Helena. It will also go before the State Board of Land Commissioners in November for their approval. Any questions may be directed to FWP at 542-5500.