BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Land Board has approved a logging project proposed for south of Bozeman and left open the option for opponents of the sale to bid on a 25-year deferral of any logging there.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the board voted unanimously to move forward with the Limestone West Timber Sale, a 443-acre project the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation proposed for state school trust lands.

The agency will also offer a 25-year conservation license in lieu of timber sale, an option requested by Save Our Gallatin Front, which opposes cutting down trees in the area.

It's the first time such a license has been offered for an entire logging project, and the land board kept that option intact despite opposition from the timber industry.

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