75 years ago the fish and game commission purchased a piece of land in central Montana for elk winter range, this revolutionary idea of dedicating lands to wildlife is a main reason today people have places to hunt and plenty of game to pursue.
“I think looking back we feel really very fortunate that folks took those first steps to make that happen because now we have a system of these lands around the state, over 400,000 acres, that is dedicated to wildlife habitat and providing recreation.” said Northrup
The Judith wildlife management area is one of 69 wildlife management areas across Montana, providing a diversity of lands for wildlife and recreation.
And they do represent some of the highest value wildlife habitats in those various areas from wetlands to forests to foothills that are very important for big game winter range.
Fish, wildlife and parks strives to manage and maintain these lands for wildlife and the public.
“we value the properties that we have, we have to be good stewards of that property that we have and maintain it properly take care of what we have on our side of the fence and recognize that we have a neighbor on the other side of the fence too.” said Schleep
And while a lot has changed in 75 years the Judith is an example of how public lands can benefit wildlife, sportsmen and its neighbors.
It should be recognized as not only the first the state ever got, but it should be recognized as an example so that we can display that there can be awful a lot of cooperation and there needs to be between the state management of wildlife, state properties and the private landowner.
I’m Winston Greely, out among Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.