Lewis and Clark County approves $1M from bond for PPLT to buy Birdseye Ranch

Lewis and Clark County commissioners on Tuesday OK’d awarding $1 million from the county Land, Water, and Wildlife Bond to Prickly Pear Land Trust to help it buy the 1,457-acre Birdseye Ranch to be used for public recreation, conservation and to serve as a buffer with bordering Fort Harrison.

Representatives of Prickly Pear Land Trust tour Birdseye Ranch on May 13.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT) had entered into a fee-title purchase agreement with property owner RV Ranch Co. to buy the land for the appraised value of $2.9 million. PPLT will use three funding sources to buy the property: the Lewis and Clark County bond, the Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Department of Defense Army Compatible Use Buffer Program.

PPLT will continue to pay the property taxes on the land, officials said.

Tuesday’s vote was unanimous, with commissioners noting that it not only fit into the needs of the community, but the Department of Defense as well.

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