Authorities in western Montana are looking for information about the person(s) responsible for using an ax or a hatchet to damage several signs at a kiosk in the Bass Creek Recreational Area. Among other things, the signage highlights a project carried out by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bitterroot National Forest and other partners.
In 2018, the collaborate effort culminated to permanently protected and open access to 120 acres of wildlife and riparian habitat that was under the threat of development. A bank previously foreclosed on the land with the intent of selling it on the private market. If that happened, the Bitterroot National Forest could have been obligated to grant permanent access via the establishment of a motorized road through the property. Instead, RMEF and its partners worked together to purchase the land and convey it to the Bitterroot National Forest, thereby placing it in the public’s hands.
The area is important winter range for elk and mule deer and is also home to whitetail deer, turkey and other bird and mammal life. About 60,000 people use it annually to hunt, fish, hike, camp, mountain bike and take part in other activities.
If you have any information about the vandalism, call the Stevensville Ranger Station at 406-777-5461.
Go here to see additional photos.
(Photo source: Bitterroot National Forest)