500 Square Miles of Montana Wilderness Bought Up, Protected From Development
photo by brklynnovember via flickr
I don’t think it’s enough of a pattern to be called a trend, but after Florida buying up a large chunk of the Everglades for restoration to its natural state, and now something similar happening in Montana, things are looking a little better for US wild spaces.
The New York Times is reporting that the Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land have reached an agreement for the purchase of a patchwork of privately owned forest some 500 square miles in size—an area about a third the size of Rhode Island.
From Logging to Wilderness in Ten Years TimeThe land is currently owned by Plum Creek Timber and will be bought for $510 million, half of which will be paid for through private donations and half through Federal tax-credit bonds.
The lands bought are considering especially important because most abut parcels which the US Forest Service already owns: With this purchase the contiguous areas under protection can be increased. This in turn will allow animals, such as Grizzly bear, to travel over greater distances without having to cross developed areas. It also has positive implications for the protection of biodiversity in the region.
The purchases are to be completed over the next two years and the land transferred to the Forest Service over the next decade.
More on Wilderness Protection
Florida to Buy Back Wetlands from U.S. Sugar
New York Times on Off-Roaders Chewing Up the West