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Lolo Forest Acquires Additional 15,000 Acres Of Land

Nearly 15,000 acres of land previously owned by a private logging and development company have been transferred to the Lolo National Forest.

The two parcels of land near Lolo Creek south of Missoula provide important habitat for wildlife like threatened grizzly bears and bull trout. The land also provides access to recreation, including the Lewis & Clark and the Nez Perce national historic trails.

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land worked with the U.S. Forest Service and former owner Southern Pine Plantations to permanently protect the land as part of the Lolo National Forest.

The land was purchased with almost $11 million of federal Land and Water Conservation funding.

The Georgia-based Southern Pine Plantations purchased the two parcels bordering the Lolo National Forest as part of a 630,000-acre acquisition from Weyerhaeuser in 2020, causing concern about continued public access from Libby to Missoula.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.