Posted: Jul 14, 2012 3:39 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 14, 2012 3:39 PM
HAMILTON- The head of the Bitter Root Land Trust says his group will be working to develop a management plan that "balances" all interests for a new conservation site west of Hamilton.
The trust has taken ownership of the Tabor property along the banks of the Bitterroot, just a few minutes walk west of downtown Hamilton. The 22-acre site features a mix of river access with forest land and stands of timber.
This week Ravalli County commissioners gave tentative approval to release $35,000 from the open space program to help with the financing and planning. But commissioners made the money contingent on the City of Hamilton having long-term ownership, and a detailed management plan being drawn up for the property.
Trust Executive Director Gavin Ricklefs says the group recognizes there are a lot of overlapping access and use issues.
"In the next couple of weeks we're going to be working with the city pretty closely to identify the terms of a conservation easement that's going to ensure that land is protected as a natural, public recreation amenity and protects that important wildlife habitat that's there, long term. And then we'll be working on that management plan, as I said, to make sure that we can take into account all these different balancing factors and make sure this has a positive future for everybody."
The land won't be open for general public access until those management plans are complete.