The United States Forest Service finalized the acquisition of six patented mining claims, collectively referred to as the “Delmoe Lake Property”, on July 13th, 2021. The property is comprised of approximately 100 acres of formerly private inholdings that are surrounded by National Forest System lands within the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Jefferson County, Montana. The property is located near Delmoe Lake, a reservoir north of Homestake Pass and expands this portion of public lands in an area very popular with recreationists. Funding for this purchase was provided by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a federal program supports the protection of federal public lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas – and voluntary conservation on private land. LWCF investments secure public access, improve recreational opportunities, and preserve ecosystem benefits for local communities.
Public acquisition of these lands aids the Forest Service in conserving open landscapes, protecting cultural and historical features, and also provides additional recreation opportunities. The Delmoe Lake area is popular for recreationists to ride Off-Highway Vehicles and snowmobiles, hunt, and hike, all while enjoying the scenic landscape. The Delmoe Lake project will also protect valuable habitat, including wetland and riparian areas in the Haney Creek and International Creek drainages.
“We are extremely thankful that landowners Hart Baitis, and Art and John Dick were such willing partners in this acquisition that helps us conserve this landscape and expands public access in this popular area,” said Tim Lahey, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Butte District Ranger.
For more information about the Delmoe Lake Property acquisition, please contact the Butte Ranger District at (406) 494-2147.