Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recently completed acquisition of a 425-acre addition to the Grant Marsh Wildlife Management Area, which is located seven miles north of Hardin. The property is expected to open to the public by Sept. 1.
The property, along the west bank of the Bighorn River, is adjacent to the existing Grant Marsh Wildlife Management Area and fishing access site.
FWP recommended purchase of the property with management goals of riparian wildlife habitat conservation, upland habitat enhancement primarily for white-tailed deer and pheasants, and providing substantial public hunting and recreational opportunities.
Following a public hearing and extensive opportunities for public comment, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission and the state Land Board approved the purchase this past spring and the sale recently closed.
Signage and other work on the property are necessary before it is available for public access. No new parking area nor approaches from Highway 47 are planned before the public opening. All parking will be on the existing FWP property with only walk-in access to the new 425 acres.
It was feared this spring that the land purchase might be jeopardized by a delay in federal funding after newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke put a hold on all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service disbursements to states to review how the money was being spent.