BOZEMAN – The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation awarded the conservation group, Save Our Gallatin Front (SOGF) with a 25-year conservation license on Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019.
SOGF’s bid was over $400,000.
This successful bid comes after SOGF filed a lawsuit against DNRC and the Montana Land Board for the approval of a timber sale in the Limestone West area, south of Bozeman between Mount Ellis and Triple Tree Trail.
Judge Mclyea ruled to allow the logging auction to move forward despite SOGF’s efforts to protect wildlife in the area by halting the project.
After the judge’s decision, there was only one thing that SOGF could do and that was to bid higher than the other timber companies.
SOGF only ended up having to bid against one timber company, who offered $376,000.
“Save our Gallatin Front is actually very excited that we did win the bid for the stumpage rights for conservation license in Limestone,” Save Our Gallatin Front member, William Webb said.
Coming up with a little over $400,000 can be challenging for a community organization.
Webb said, “where’s it going to come from? It’s going to come from the community. We have some donors lined up and we have a lot more to do We’re meeting over the next couple days to refine and implement our fundraising strategy.”
According to the DNRC, this is the first wholesale deferral ever applied for within the timber sale program.
SOGF will now have 30 days to submit the first three payments of a little over $133,000.
Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News