Wetlands donated to Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation

BIGFORK, Mont. (AP) — Thirty acres of land with 3,500 feet of Flathead River shoreline has been donated to Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation.

The Missoulian reports in a story on Thursday that Glacier Bank donated the land that connects to the 1,887-acre Flathead Lake Waterfowl Production Area administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The property was a repossession, and it’s prime wetlands next to a protected area,” foundation spokeswoman Jane Ratzlaff said. “They approached us and asked if it’s something we might want.”

The foundation said yes, seeing an opportunity to add more land to the waterfowl production area.

“That’s the real interest in it,” Ratzlaff said. “It helps expand that area, and gives us a lot of riverfront.”

Osprey, teal, marsh wrens and other species are attracted to the area, and now they’ll have additional room in the long and narrow property that’s on either side of the boat entrance to Eagle Bend Yacht Harbor.

Dennis Beams of Glacier Bank is friends with Montana Outdoor Legacy Foundation executive director George Bettas, Ratzlaff said.

“Outdoor activities are at the core of Montana values and economic growth,” Beams said in a statement. “We are delighted to be able to provide one more point of access to enjoying the quality of life that makes Montana a special place to live and do business.”

Until last year, Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation was known as the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Foundation. Started in 1999, it’s involved in projects on private and public lands.

Those efforts include restoring wildlife habitat as well as supporting public access and state parks.

The group’s stated mission is “to provide private support for preserving and enhancing Montana’s natural, cultural and recreational resources.”

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