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Comment taken on proposal for new road in Stillwater State Forest north of Whitefish Lake

| July 21, 2021 1:00 AM

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Stillwater Unit is taking public comment on a proposal that includes the construction of a new road near the north end of Whitefish Lake.

The DNRC has received a request from Eagle Rock Montana LLC for an easement exchange that includes constructing about 1.7 miles of new road starting from the DNRC’s existing East Smith Road and East Lakeshore junction. The road would provide access to three adjacent landowners, as well as future opportunities for DNRC forest management, according to a release.

Comments must be received no later than Aug. 11. Questions or comments can be directed to Stillwater Unit Manager Dave Ring at dring@mt.gov or by calling 406-881-2371.

Currently, the East Smith Road has a small parking area for hiking and biking and a gate restricting motorized access. The future design would include a parking area and the road will continue to be closed to motorized use beyond the gate.

The DNRC is in the scoping phase of the project. In preparation, specialists including but not limited to wildlife biologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, and archeologists will be consulted.

The School for the Deaf and Blind in Great Falls is the beneficiary trust of this proposal.

If you have any questions or comments on this proposed easement, please contact Dave Ring at dring@mt.gov or by calling 406-881-2371.

The DNRC Trust Land Management Division manages Montana’s forested state trust lands to generate long-term sustainable revenue to benefit educational institutions while promoting healthy, resilient, and diverse forests for future generations.