The historic Fort Owen Ranch, just north of Stevensville, has a new owner - Myla Yahraus of MGY Ranching.

Stevensville publisher Dale Burke introduced Yahraus and her ranch manager Kent Smartt at a news conference in the Stevensville Hotel Thursday, November 30.

Yahraus said escrow closed on the ranch in November. The Capps are relocating their family and cattle operation and will be on the porperty until the end of the year. Yahraus said the Fort Owen Ranch will remain a cattle ranch and farm and will retain the Ft. Owen Ranch brand.

Yahraus said, "I am aware of (the ranch's) close proximity to the historic Fort Owen State Park and its lack of accessibility and adequate parking. I am also aware that a portion of the ranch has been used as a long time public access point to the Bitterroot River, but is no longer accessible."

She has already begun meeting with representatives of Montana Wildlife and Parks and said that any resolution of the issues must include an ongoing maintenance program. She emphasized that she would like some short term solutions, but also long-term solutions that would benefit all parties.

Smartt said he hoped to have the new cattle operatin up and going in the spring.

The barracks of Fort Owen. (KLYQ file photo, Townsquare Media)