BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana counties are receiving $26.5 million this year under a program that compensates local governments for the amount of non-taxable federal land in their jurisdiction.
Federal officials said Thursday that Flathead County and Lewis and Clark County will receive the highest amounts — more than $2 million each.
The amount of payments statewide is virtually unchanged from last year, and amounts to just under $1 an acre.
The Interior Department gives out the money based on the acreage of federal land and population of each county or jurisdiction. That includes lands within National Forests and National Parks, under control of the Bureau of Land Management and within Bureau of Reclamation water projects.
Daniels County in northeast Montana is alone among the state's 56 counties in not receiving a payment.