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Meagher County officials decline opposing land purchase

Land parcels near Big Hole River could be sold for oil and gas development

Meagher County commissioners say they won't oppose a proposal to purchase central Montana land and place it under public ownership despite their concerns about the deal.

The Independent Record reports the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is looking to purchase 4,000 acres (1,618 hectares) to eventually sell to the U.S. Forest Service, using funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The owners of Holmstrom Sheep Creek Ranch are selling the property for $7.5 million.

Commission Chairman Rod Brewer outlined officials' concerns about the deal at their meeting this week, citing potential tax revenue loss and issues with federal land ownership and management.

Commissioner Ben Hurwitz says the county's views on the deal are unchanged, but the commission would not pass a resolution opposing it.

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