State Land Swap Deal In Montana Is Approved, Despite Criticism From Trail Group
A controversial land swap deal between the state and a private company in southern Montana has been approved.
The Independent Record reports the Montana Land Board voted Monday to allow Swift River Investments to offer up 861 acres of land in Madison and Butte-Silver Bow counties. In exchange, the state will give up 616 acres in Madison County.
The land swap has been praised as a way to add revenue for the state school trust, increase public land access in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and boost economic development in nearby towns.
But members of the Jefferson River Canoe Trail club have criticized the deal, saying it takes away access to public land where they celebrate the early-19th-century voyage by Meriweather Lewis and William Clark.
The club and Swift River Investments failed to negotiate a compromise before Monday's land board vote.