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More landowners ending access over ranch purchase

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- More landowners in north-central Montana are joining
 the protest of the state's purchase of a ranch along the Milk River by closing
 their land to public recreation.
   The Great Falls Tribune reports  13 landowners announced Thursday they also 
 were closing their property to hunting and fishing to protest a decision by the Fish,
 Wildlife and Parks Commission to buy a nearly 3,000 acre ranch for $4.7 million.
   The protest is now closing 30 properties with a total of 100,000 acres of land.
   FWP says the Milk River Ranch is part of an important wildlife corridor between
 Canada and the United States. The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
purchased another 1,500 acres for $1.1 million.
   Opponents say the state acted too quickly and paid too much for the land.
   ------
      AP-WF-01-04-13 1500GMT

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