Flathead Lake will soon have a new state park near Somers | State and regional

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According to the FWP, only about 11% of the shoreline around Flathead Lake is accessible to the public and there are fewer than 20 public access points to the water body itself. The area that will eventually become a state park is currently owned by the Sliter family.

In August 2020, Andrew Sliter, a family member, told the Missoulian: “For decades our family has been working on a vision of formal public access to Somers Beach.”

The state was to match the 50-50 federal funds, which had to be approved by the legislature. The Montana Legislature’s approval of the state’s agreement to match federal funds helped move the project forward, and Flathead Land Trust was also able to do private fundraising, Tabish said.

The Parks and Recreation Board and the State Land Board also had to approve the purchase.

“It was a really cool collaborative effort. The local community, local county commissioners, local lawmakers – they really helped lead this,” Tabish said. “We’re really excited to see it come to fruition.”

Once the property officially changes hands, the FWP will issue an environmental assessment of the area and establish any basic site amenities that may be needed, Tabish said.

There will be a public process to help shape what the park looks like and offers, he said. Construction of all amenities will likely take place next summer.


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