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Secretary Christi Jacobsen votes to increase public access in southeast Montana

HELENA, Mont. — Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen voted to increase public access in southeast Montana during November’s State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board) meeting.

Secretary Jacobsen voted to approve the state’s purchase of 328 acres along the Lower Yellowstone River near Rosebud, improving access for hikers, hunters, anglers, and other recreationsts. The purchase will also provide important habitat conservation and protection.

“Montanans will now be provided more access in southeast Montana with recreational opportunities for all types of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “I’m proud to support this increased public access and long-term conservation efforts in our beautiful state.”

The 328-acre addition will create the North Wildcat Coulee Wildlife Management Area (WMA), providing roughly 2.2 miles of riverfront access and entry to riparian wildlife habitat. The property is also home to a number of wildlife species, “including mule and white-tailed deer, wild turkey, pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, waterfowl, and songbirds,” according to the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

The North Wildcat Coulee WMA property was targeted by the Lower Yellowstone River Corridor Advisory Committee, a citizen advisory committee convened in 2021. The Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the proposed acquisition in October, noting dozens of comments in support of the purchase, including a letter of support from the Rosebud County Commissioners.

Once the transaction is complete, FWP will prepare the property for access before its official opening to the public.