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Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest to Seek State Grants

WISDOM, MONT., June 3, 2005 - The Forest Service plans to apply for state trail money for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest's Wisdom, Wise River, and Butte districts.

The funds are available through the "Off-Highway Vehicle and Recreation Trails Grant Program," administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and generated by gasoline taxes.

One grant of just over $11,000 would fund an "ATV ranger" who would patrol parts of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in the Wisdom area.  A grant last year funded this work and the current application would continue the program.

A second grant of $10,000 would fund an "ATV ranger" for the Wise River and Butte districts.

The rangers would tell ATV riders about safety, rules, and recreation opportunities; check feed and hay to be sure it's weed free; do trail maintenance and law enforcement; post signs; and patrol the forest boundary.

The rangers would work from May through hunting season.

For more information, call Patti Johnston, at the Forest Service office in Wisdom, at (406) 689-3243, or John Ericson, at the Wise River office, at (406) 832-3178.

Comments on the grant proposals are needed by June 20.

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