With the help of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has purchased an adjacent parcel that adds nearly 200 acres to the Fleecer Mountain Wildlife Management Area south of Butte.
In addition to the increased recreational opportunities this will afford hunters, anglers, birdwatchers and other recreationists, the expanded WMA provides more protected habitat for wildlife and fisheries.
Specifically, the parcel will provide habitat for up to 800 wintering elk, 250 wintering antelope, nesting habitat for long-billed curlew and sandhill cranes in the spring, while also including two miles of riparian habitat and wetlands along Divide Creek.
The purchase for the appraised value of $620,000 was completed in mid-December and was funded through a combination of Pittman-Robinson, Habitat Montana, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation dollars.
FWP completed an environmental assessment for the addition action in spring of 2017 with a decision notice coming out in May of 2017.
Local biologists plan a celebratory “work” party on site with project partners, supporters and interested members of the public in June.