BUTTE-The state of Montana is considering expanding the Garrity Mountain Wildlife Management Area just outside of Anaconda and a non-profit group hosted a special flight on Wednesday to view the area from new heights.
Ecoflight is a non-profit based in Colorado and their mission is to educate and advocate for the environment using small planes.
The group made a trip to Butte to host media flights from the Bert Mooney Airport on Wednesday morning. From the plane, passengers were able to view the 600 acres of the Garrity Mountain area from a new perspective.
“They were talking about little spots on the map and you say oh that’s pretty cool and then all the sudden you realize how continuous the land is and you get the big picture,” said Bruce Gordon, owner of Ecoflight.
The roughly 45 minute flight went about 8,000 feet above sea level to view the land.
“These are public lands you’re talking about for the most part and everybody needs to educate themselves so they can really have informed decisions and then speak out about what they care about,” said Gordon
The land, which is currently owned by a private citizen, would be added to the already 9,600 acre area.
Chris Marchion a board member of the Anaconda Sportsmen’s Club, which does conservation work in the area says the purchase would greatly benefit Anaconda.
He says the purchase would provide new public access, high quality fishing and protect elk and other wildlife habitat.
“It’s right on the outskirts of Anaconda with great access, it will be a real amenity to the community of Anaconda for public recreation,” said Marchion.
He adds the property has already gone though the public process to get approval and funding and now it will be voted on later this month by the Montana Land Board.