State Land Board Approves Acquisition of New Flathead Lake Access Sites

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By: Tristan Scott 

Acknowledging the need to promote both conservation and public access on Flathead Lake, the Montana Land Board on Dec. 21 unanimously approved the state’s proposal to acquire two new parcels — one that land managers hope will lead to the creation of the Somers Beach State Park and the other to the Montebello Fishing Access Site.

The proposed sites would improve access to Flathead Lake, which is girded by private development and currently has only 13 public access sites along its 180 miles of shoreline, 89% of which (excluding islands) is flanked by long stretches of private land, leading to increased congestion at the existing sites.

The proposal on Flathead Lake’s north shore east of Somers would codify access to a popular half-mile, 106-acre sandy expanse that has long conducted through a handshake agreement with its owners…

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