Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Gov. Brian Schweitzer says the state could swap state parcels inside the Missouri River Breaks National Monument to the federal government for land elsewhere.

The governor says the state would be interested in swapping the parcels for others that would generate more income for schools.

Schweitzer met Wednesday with a group called the Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument that is advancing the idea. The governor says he is confident the state could get a good deal.

There are 116 parcels of more than 37,000 acres of state land intermingled with federal land in a checkerboard fashion.

Generally, the state leases its parcels to ranchers who also lease the federal land for grazing cattle.

A BLM spokeswoman says the agency would have to review the proposal.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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