Selected enrollees in FWP’s Block Management Access program received gifts and thank-you notes hand-delivered on behalf of Montana hunters
Forty-six Montana landowners who provide public access to hunters through the state’s Block Management Access program are receiving new Stihl chainsaws and $200 Visa Check Cards as well as handwritten thank-you notes in an effort organized by MeatEater and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
The recipients of these thank-you packages were randomly selected from across all seven of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ regions. Funding to support the effort was raised last year by TRCP and MeatEater through the Montana Farm and Ranch Access Appreciation Sweepstakes.
“Block Management Access is one of the most important programs for hunters in our state—both resident and non-resident alike—and we wanted enrollees to know how much the everyday Montana sportsman and sportswoman appreciates their generosity,” said Ryan Callaghan, director of conservation for MeatEater. “Delivering these gift packages and thank-you notes in person allowed us to shake hands, share stories, and learn more about the experiences of ranchers and other landowners who offer access to the public. Those types of face-to-face conversations have historically been a key part of the relationship between the hunting and landowner communities in our state.”
The entire statewide Block Management program provides approximately 600,000 hunter days each year on around 7 million acres of private land. Whether these properties are enrolled in Type 1 (reservations required) or Type 2 (self-administered access) Block Management, they provide outstanding opportunities for the general public to pursue a variety of species, particularly in areas where public land access may be limited.
Participation in the program by private landowners is entirely voluntary and determined on an annual basis. While landowners are compensated by the state primarily through per-hunter-day impact payments, those amounts are capped and far less than the rates that could be charged if a property owner decided to instead lease access to an individual or outfitter.
“The success of Montana’s Block Management Program relies on landowners across the state who provide excellent opportunities for hunters. We know access improves when landowners feel respected and appreciated for the access they provide. I’m grateful to the many hunters who stepped up through this campaign to show their appreciation to the block management cooperators,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech.
“Access is foremost among the challenges that face hunters across the country, and voluntary programs that open private property to sportsmen and sportswomen are critically important,” said Joel Webster, vice president of Western conservation for the TRCP. “Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Block Management Access provides high quality opportunities all across our state, and we thought this would be a meaningful way to show how much the program means to the public and how much we appreciate the willingness of landowners to participate in it.”
Interviews with select landowners who received thank-you packages can be heard on Episode 171 of the “Cal’s Week in Review” podcast.
3 Responses to “MeatEater and TRCP Thank Montana Landowners Who Provide Hunter Access”
Thanks for helping us tight budget hunters access more lands to have good times.
Although I’m no longer able to hunt the way I used to, I want others to enjoy some of the same experiences I did when I was younger. Access to wildlands is critical for future Hunters. We should be forever grateful to landowners who allow such access.
Awesome IDEA!! A little appreciation sure goes a long way!! I hope some hunters offer to use those Stihl’s and cut some firewood for those landowners!