A controversial land exchange between billionaire Texas brothers Dan and Farris Wilks and the Bureau of Land Management that was shot down last year has come back to life.
The big just keep getting bigger.
Even though a land exchange involving the Durfee Hills in Fergus County has been shot down, the landlocked Bureau of Land Management acreage remains at the center of controversy.
Last week the BLM investigated this fence erected by the Wilks brothers around landlocked federal lands within the N Bar Ranch. The agency said the fence does not encroach on federal land.
Rumors that a new fence built by the Wilks brothers around Bureau of Land Management acreage in the Durfee Hills encroached on federal property have been stifled after an agency investigation.
A representative for Montana’s largest private landowners said his clients were “blindsided” by a Tuesday news story in which the Bureau of Land Management said it would not consider the Durfee Hills as part of their proposed land exchange.
John Brenden (April 17 guest opinion) pretended to be a “friend” of public recreationists while promoting a Bureau of Land Management land exchange with his political supporters, the Wilks brothers.
Officials with the Bureau of Land Management decided last week to remove the Durfee Hills from consideration as part of a controversial land exchange proposed by Montana’s largest private landowners, Dan and Farris Wilks.
With an estimated 4,000 elk roaming the surrounding N Bar and Pronghorn ranches, the Durfee Hills sit in the middle of prime big game habitat.
Matthew Newberg tagged this large bull elk while hunting with his father in the Durfee Hills in 2012.
Until a couple of months ago, few Montanans had heard of the Durfee Hills.
Bozeman hunter and outdoor television personality Randy Newberg sits atop a high point in the Durfee Hills that overlooks the Flatwillow Creek drainage. The 2,700 acres of Bureau of Land Management property is surrounded by the N Bar Ranch.
The Durfee Hills contain scattered stands of ponderosa pine and are located at the south end of the Little Snowy Mountains.
A week after revealing details of a central Montana land exchange to conservation groups and after more than a month of speculation by interested residents, the Bureau of Land Management has revealed the details of the proposal.
Two Texas brothers who own property in Central Montana have formally proposed a land exchange involving Bureau of Land Management property inside their ranch in a trade for public access to an estimated 60,000 acres in the Big Snowy Mountains and north of the Missouri River Breaks.
Map on left portrays the landownership situation where the Bullwhacker Road is closed as it passes through the Wilks Ranch. The map on the right portrays the reverse situation in southern Fergus County where the 2700-acre BLM Durfee Hills parcel, plus a state section are surrounded by the pr…
Some Montana advocates of public lands access seem to be in no mood to negotiate with Texas billionaire brothers Dan and Farris Wilks over land exchange or access deals in central and north-central Montana.