Meeteetse Spires In The Beartooth Mountains
Meeteetse Spires in the Beartooth Mountains. Photo by Design Pics, Inc.
In early 2010 we completed the second and final phase of a land conservation project that adds 560 acres to the Meeteetse Spires Area of Critical Environmental Concern in the Beartooth Mountains.
This project is a great example of how we partner and assist government agencies in their conservation goals.
The Fund bought the entire property in June 2009 with the intent that the BLM would purchase it in phases, as it obtained funding. Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester and Congressman Denny Rehberg championed this project in Congress and secured all of the funding for BLM’s purchase, through two annual appropriations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“The public and environmental benefit from this purchase is immeasurable,” said Jim Sparks, Billings field manager for the Bureau of Land Management.
The property sits about six miles south of Red Lodge in Carbon County and contains unique rock formations that jut out from the eastern slopes of the Beartooth Mountains, drawing visitors and nature photographers from across the state and country. Preserving this land expands public recreational access for hiking, hunting, camping, skiing and more, because it connects to surrounding BLM lands and the adjoining Custer National Forest.
This dramatic landscape also provides a home for a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, mountain lions and gray wolves, and a rare flowering plant, the Shoshonea pulvinata, which exists in only three places in Montana and fewer than 12 locations globally.
“Montanans benefit from investments like this because we value clean water and public access to good places for fishing, hunting and camping,” said Senator Tester. “This will go a long ways toward making sure this area will be enjoyed by all of us, our kids and our grandkids.”