Lake-area land swap proposed

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A landowner at Lake Mary Ronan needs a bit more acreage for a septic drain field for a residence and has offered a property swap that could provide an additional 286 feet of shoreline for the lake’s state park.

As proposed, the landowner would gain about .51 of an acre of wooded uplands and Montana State Parks, a division of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, would gain about .38 of an acre of private land bordering the existing park.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported that the .51 acre that would be exchanged “is in a region of the park that has no developed amenities and sees little use by park visitors.”

Lake Mary Ronan State Park is the only publicly owned access point to the 1,512-acre lake, which is described by Fish, Wildlife and Parks as one of the most popular fishing lakes in the agency’s Region One.

The lake hosts game fish species that include kokanee salmon, largemouth bass, rainbow trout and yellow perch. Fish, Wildlife and Parks said the lake receives about 21,000 angler days per year.

“The current day-use portion of the park is quite small, and the additional shoreline footage would provide for the opportunity to develop more shore fishing opportunities, while reducing congestion at the park’s current boat launch area,” the agency said in a news release.

The department said the shoreline land that would be acquired by the state park is appraised at $29,000, about $2,000 more than the land it would swap with the landowner.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks seeks public comment about a draft environmental assessment prepared for the proposed land swap.

Comments will be accepted through May 23 at 5 p.m.

The draft environmental assessment can be viewed online, and comments can be submitted, by going to stateparks.mt.gov and clicking on “Public Comments & Notices.”

For questions about the environmental assessment or the comment process, contact Dave Landstrom, regional park manager, at dlandstrom@mt.gov.

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