State land purchases lead to maintenance backlog


HELENA — The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in the last six years has acquired 232,000 acres for state parks, wildlife management areas and fishing access sites.

But Parks Division administrator Chas Van Genderen said his division is in a "terrible fiscal situation" trying to pay for maintaining new land and other properties the state already owned.

The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission last month refused Van Genderen's request to raise fees at some state parks, citing the economic downturn.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer said that many of the land purchases and land donations to the...

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