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Montana FWP Plans New State Park On Flathead Lake

Satellite view of Montana's Flathead Lake.
Satellite view of Montana's Flathead Lake.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks plans to establish a new state park on Flathead Lake. The deal announced Monday would add a 106-acre public park in Somers.

FWP plans to match federal funding to purchase the private property from the Sliter family, which has owned the land along Flathead Lake’s north shore since the 1930s. The parcel is initially estimated to cost about $2.8 million.

Andrea Goudge is the CFO of Sliters Lumber & Building Supply. She says the public has accessed the property for years, but use has increased in recent years.

“And it is absolutely time for this property to move into the hands of governmental agency who can manage access and use and amenities in an appropriate way.”

Goudge says her father had been seeking a buyer that would maintain public access since the 1990s.

According to FWP’s draft environmental analysis, there is some groundwater contamination on adjacent properties owned by BNSF and some of it has shifted under the property, but is not considered a potential hazard to future park users.

FWP says the new park would ease congestion at other state parks and public access sites on the lake. Public comment on the proposal is due by Sept. 12.
Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.