Hadley Park, located south of Boulder, was recently acquired by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and is now available to the public.
The 598 acres were purchased for $718,000 and the deal was facilitated by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said District Ranger Tim Lahey.
The funding was made possible by using Land and Water Conservation Fund Priority Sportsman Recreation Access funds.
The land had been owned by the Roland Durocher family and the acquisition was finalized in September.
“We salute the Durocher family for reaching out to us to help conserve this landscape as well as our partners at the Forest Service,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO.
“Not only is it important elk summer and winter range, but moose, mule deer, black bear and many other species rely on it as well,” said Weaver.
The property is located about seven miles south of Boulder and access is on Hadley Park Road along Montana 69.
The 598 acres connects to public lands on the north end of the Bull Mountains, providing access to an additional estimated 1,700 acres.
Formerly under private use, the Forest Service plans to manage the property for recreation, hunting and wildlife, with grazing rights to be determined, said Lahey.
This is a very popular hunting and recreational area and this area was previously identified as a priority area where public access should be improved when the opportunity arose, and due to the willingness of the Durocher family, the acquisition addresses that priority, according to the U.S. Forest Service.