Council Endorses State Plan to Buy Big Ranch

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – An advisory council has given its approval to state plans to buy a 28,000-acre ranch near Deer Lodge for hunting, fishing and recreation.

Money for the proposal is coming from the state Natural Resource Damage Program, which manages money aimed at replacing resources lost to mining in the region.

An advisory council for the program decided Wednesday in Deer Lodge that the ranch would be a good use of some of the trust money.

One more group will look at the plan next week before it goes to the governor.

Supporters say it is a chance for the state to own a big chunk of grassland elk habitat. Opponents say the ranch is a misuse of the money, or argue the state should not buy more land.

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