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Gavin

Gavin Ricklefs, executive director of the Bitter Root Land Trust, looks across the Bitterroot River toward the mountains while standing on what will become the Skalkaho Bend Park. The land trust is seeking almost $100,000 in a state grant to help pay for the project. 

Three Bitterroot-based organizations are seeking grants through the state’s Recreation Trails Program.

Montana State Parks is currently seeking public comment on 76 grant proposals for the $1.5 million the agency has for the upcoming grant cycle. In total, organizations around the state have requested $3.56 million.

In the Bitterroot, three groups are seeking funds for projects ranging from a new park in Hamilton to ski trail grooming at Chief Joseph Pass to trail restoration work in the Selway Bitterroot and Frank Church wildernesses.

The Bitter Root Land Trust requested $98,985 for the proposed “Skalkaho Bend” park along the Bitterroot River in Hamilton. The new 70-acre park will feature a trailhead parking area, bridges and other projects along two new miles of nature trails.

The Bitterroot Cross-County Ski Club seeks $50,250 to help pay for grooming the trail system used by cross-country skiers as well as other nonmotorized and motorized users at Chief Joseph Pass.

The Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation would spend $12,956 to reopen and restore about 36 miles of wilderness trails in the two wilderness areas.

The public comment period on the proposed grants is open through Saturday, March 9.

A complete list of trails grant applicants under consideration is available online at: stateparks.mt.gov/recreation and click on “Recreational Trails Program.” Copies of individual RTP applications are available upon request at 406-444-7642.

Public comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 9. To comment online visit stateparks.mt.gov and click on “Public Comment & Notices”. Or send comments by email to FWPRecreationalTrails@mt.gov.

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Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.