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Ovando Couple Receive
Conservation Easement Grant

May 18, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

John and Irene Weaver of Ovando are one of three applicants who recently received a grant from The Montana Agricultural Heritage Commission for the purchase of a conservation easement on their property. In its first-ever review of applications to the program, the Commission considered over $2 million in grant requests from nine applicants. The other two successful applicants are Milton and Peggy Schaplow of Bozeman and Tom Ladenburg of Polebridge.

The Weaver land deal involves a partial donation and a grant of $160,000 for the purchase of an easement to be held by the Montana Land Reliance on 320 acres bordering the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. The project also involves an additional 280 acres under an easement to be purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Montana Agricultural Heritage Program (MAHP) was created by the 1999 legislature to help stem the loss of critical farm, ranch and forest land to inappropriate development. The citizen commission tied to the program oversees funding for the acquisition of conservation easements from willing sellers and donors.

Landowners interested in applying for a grant from the program may contact Mike Volesky at (406) 444-3533 or Alternatively, application information may be requested by writing to: Montana Agricultural Heritage Commission, P. O. Box 201601, 1625 Eleventh Avenue, Helena MT 59620-1601. The next application deadline for the year is August 1.

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