DRNC hosts meeting about proposed land exchange near Twin Bridges

On Nov. 1, more than 40 people gathered at the Twin Bridges School for a public meeting hosted by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

In February 2015, DRNC received a proposal from SRI River Holdings, a Twin Bridges-area landowner, which requested trading 861.48 acres of their land in Rochester Basin and along the Big Hole River, for 611 acres of state land along the Jefferson River northwest of Twin Bridges (see included map).

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One Response to DRNC hosts meeting about proposed land exchange near Twin Bridges

  1. Katie Bump says:

    Dear neighbors,
    On Monday Dec. 19 the State Land Board decides whether to trade the last piece of public land on the Jefferson River to SRI River Holdings LLC for a tract on Big Hole River. The State land on the Jefferson has unique, significant public use values. It is undeveloped, natural. The river runs through it for ½-mile. It has a rare plant; its cottonwoods are a rare habitat on public land in Montana. It is on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. Opportunity to visit authentic historic landscapes like this are rare, treasured locally and nationally. 10 years ago we were immersed in the history of Lewis & Clark. Will future generations have the same opportunity? The Jefferson River is well-suited to canoeing. This tract 2 miles from Twin Bridges, it is a perfect stop in a day trip for students or families in canoes. In contrast, the private land offered on the Big Hole River is agricultural, crisscrossed by irrigation ditches fed from a large headgate. Its rural neighborhood has roads, fences, power lines and residences. The Big Hole River is not on the National Historic Trail. It is not well-suited to canoeing; the experienced boatmen of Lewis & Clark suffered the first recorded Big Hole canoe accident August 6, 1805. Lewis and Clark rejected the Big Hole in favor of the Jefferson. So should the State. Both tracts are on navigable waters, but are not similar in public use values. THIS WEEK contact the Land Board: Governor Steve Bullock, Attorney General Tim Fox, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, Superintendent of Schools Denise Juno, and Auditor Monica Lindeen, and DNRC Trust Land Management Director John Tubbs. This isn’t a good deal. Let’s keep the Jefferson River tract for its significant, irreplaceable public use values.
    Sincerely,
    Katie R. Bump

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