The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced on Monday that 120 acres just north of the Bass Creek Recreation Area is now public land and is off the market for commercial or residential development.

Spokesman Mark Holyoak said this piece of land is in the Bitterroot between Stevensville and Florence.

“Basically, it’s in the Bitterroot Valley on the north side of the Bass Creek Recreation Area at the base of the Bitterroot Mountains,” said Holyoak. “Now people won’t have to worry that this particular chunk, this 120 acres, might end up being developed and have homes popping up. It’s good for wildlife and it’s good for people who like to get out in the wildlands.”

Holyoak explained the timing of the acquisition.

“Basically, this was a chunk of privately owned land and it had been foreclosed on by a bank,” he said. “When a bank has land it wants to sell it, so this was headed for the private market but we got a heads-up about it and we were able to get some funding together. It’s surrounded on three sides by the Bitterroot National Forest, and on the other side there’s an existing development, so there was a significant threat here that this could also be developed, so we worked with our partners and got the funding together and were able to close the deal.”

Holyoak did not have immediate access to the price of the land.