Non-profit, Montana ranchers team up to preserve land
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Some north-central Montana ranchland is being conserved through a partnership between a conservation group and ranchers.
The Billings Gazette reports ranchers near Malta asked The Nature Conservancy for help when a neighbor’s property went up for sale. The Nature Conservancy bought nearly 4,500 acres (1,821 hectares) where several species of birds live, including the greater sage grouse. Over the next three years, the group will sell the land to the ranchers at a reduced price in exchange for the land never being developed.
Conflict and rising property values have hit the area as another group, American Prairie Preserve, has been buying land to create a 3.5 million grassland preserve. The Montana-based non-profit group will continue to own the majority of the land but it will be open to public use.