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FWP seeks alternative leasing plan for Big Arm State Park

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 16:57:57-05

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is looking for alternative options to afford payments and keep Big Arm State Park open to the public .

Dave Landstrom says FWP currently leases Big Arm State Park annually from Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for $22,000. The lease expires at the end of February.

However, Landstrom told MTN News that the lease will dramatically increase to almost $500,000 annually, a price tag that the agency can not afford.

Landstrom says that the DNRC would have to re-purpose Big Arm State Park on their terms, and as of right now FWP has a few options. They can allow the lease to lapse or purchase a multi-million dollar permanent easement, meaning FWP won’t have to pay another lease.

It would cost $8 million to buy the existing 218 acres and $10 million would buy an additional 23 acres adjacent to the Big Arm State Park.

While the comment public period is closed, Landstrom says FWP hopes to have a solution for this popular recreation site by the end of February.