Montana Association of Land Trusts

Private Land Conservation

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Glenn Marx
Executive Director
PO Box 892
Helena, MT 59624
406-490-1659
montanamalt@q.com

News and Reports

Date: 7/17/2019
Title: Montana TNC Working Toward Forest Health
Summary: Montana's forest are ever changing. The Nature Conservancy in Montana is helping make those changes for the better.
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Date: 7/16/2019
Title: More Applause for Story Mill Park Ahead of July 20 Opening Ceremony
Summary: Under the Bozeman Daily Chronicle headline Our New Park a Reason to Stand and Cheer: "This coming Saturday (July 20) there will be a celebration that all community members will want to take part. The occasion will be a grand opening for the Story Mill Community Park - the culmination of a collaboration among the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, the city, Bozeman voters and many donors... Visitors from out of state and around Montana are often heard to remark with envy on the Bozeman's inviting parks and trails. Those things haven't happened on their own. It took a lot of foresight and selfless perseverance on the part of many people. And years down the road Story Mill Park will have a special place in the history of Bozeman's parks heritage."
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Date: 7/15/2019
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust and City of Helena Work on Forest Health
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust, after years of working and waiting, closed a transaction last week that allowed PPLT to transfer recently-acquired land to the City of Helena, and literally within hours work was underway to improve forest health and diminish wildfire risk on the property. Under the headline “Helena begins thinning work on 72-acre land donation“ the Helena Independent Record reported on the transaction and the wildfire mitigation efforts.
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Date: 7/14/2019
Title: NRCS Chief Matt Lohr Video Features Montana
Summary: NRCS Chief Matt Lohr recently posted a brief YouTube video featuring Montana and Montanans. Chief Lohr's video showcases an ALE Program conservation easement in the Big Hole Valley and concludes with an aptly named grain bin. The Chief was in Montana the end of June and met at the Huntley Ranch with Nature Conservancy officials to salute the Huntley family for their stewardship and commitment to agricultural conservation.
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Date: 7/11/2019
Title: Montana Outdoors: 2018 Farm Bill 'Exceeds Expectations'
Summary: MALT, DU and others organizations are touting 2018 Farm Bill conservation programs that offer valuable programs for agricultural conservation in Montana. The article is featured in the July - August edition of the magazine.
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Date: 7/9/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Will Float for Conservation
Summary: Flathead Land Trust will take to the water on July 20 for a kayak and canoe float along the Flathead River. The float (four or six mile floats available) will take participants past existing, ongoing and future conservation efforts. The trip starts at 9:00 AM. Contact Laura Katzman (lkatzman@flatheadlandtrust.org) at FLT for details. Participants should RSVP by July 17.
 
Date: 7/8/2019
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Celebrates Trails Anniversary
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the South Hills Trails System in Helena with a celebration on July 18 in downtown Helena. The festive anniversary will start about 5:00 PM outside of Ten Mile Creek Brewery and The Hawthorne and will offer music, food trucks, and much more. Swing by and help celebrate the Helena area community trails system.
 
Date: 7/5/2019
Title: Don't Miss Bitter Root Land Trust Barn Dance on July 27
Summary: Bitter Root Land Trust will be kicking up its heels during a July 27 barn dance at the Trexler Ranch near Corvallis. The event features 4-H youth roping, music by the Ruby Valley Boys, lawn games, Trexler Ranch beef and more. The event starts at 5:00 PM and tickets are on sale now through the BRLT website.
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Date: 7/5/2019
Title: Five Valleys Land Trust Joins RecCon Montana Event
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust will be promoting Mount Dean Stone and celebrating outdoor recreation on July 19-20 at the RecCon Montana event at Fort Missoula. RecCon (Recreation Convention) is all about the great outdoors, including outdoor retailers, guiding and outfitting, a broad range of outdoor enthusiasts and more. FVLT will be on hand to discuss its conservation projects.
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Date: 7/1/2019
Title: TPL Stillwater Celebration Set for July 10 in Whitefish
Summary: The Trust for Public Land and project partners will be celebrating the Stillwater Conservation Project on Wednesday, July 10, in Whitefish, with a project site visit and reception at Grouse Mountain Lodge. The site visit will take place at 4:00 PM and the reception runs 5:30 - 7:30 PM. During the site visit, new kiosk and interpretive signs will be unveiled. The $40 million, conservation award winning Stillwater Conservation Project tapped the Land and Water Conservation Fund and several other funding sources to purchase nearly 14,000 acres of private forestland in the Whitefish area in a cooperative effort with Montana FWP and Montana DNRC. Montana DNRC now owns the land as part of the Stillwater State Forest, and FWP holds a conservation easement on the property, assuring forest health, wildlife conservation, and public access.
 
Date: 6/27/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Celebrates 
New Fish Pond
Summary: Flathead Land Trust, the City of Columbia Falls, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks - with dozens of kids - recently celebrated National Go Fishing Day at the improved River's Edge Park. The Flathead Beacon reports FLT executive director Paul Travis as saying the upgraded park project “fit into the FLT mission of conservation through individual engagement and education.“ FLT helped lead the effort on the community project.
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Date: 6/25/2019
Title: Senator Daines Calls LWCF 'Incredible Driver' of Montana's Economy
Summary: In a Senate hearing today Montana Senator Steve Daines terms the LWCF an "incredible driver" of Montana's economy and "absolutely critical" to outdoor recreation. Thanks to Sen. Daines for his commitment to permanent dedicated LWCF funding.
 
Date: 6/25/2019
Title: Welcome to Montana, NRCS Chief Matt Lohr
Summary: Matthew Lohr, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service since December 2018, will be in Montana this week learning more about NRCS Montana operations, including Montana land trust engagement in the ALE Program. The Montana Association of Land Trusts membership and staff are thrilled that the Chief is visiting Montana and applauds Montana State Conservationist Tom Watson for including land trusts and the Montana ALE Program success in the Chief's itinerary while he's in Montana. Chief Lohr was raised on a Virginia farm and is a former Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He has worked for Farm Credit of the Virginias, served in the Virginia House of Delegates, and since 2017 farmed full-time on the family's agricultural operation, which includes beef cattle, poultry, row crops and corn. Welcome, Chief Lohr, and the Montana land trust community looks forward to visiting with you.
 
Date: 6/24/2019
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Secures Helena Trail Corridor
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust's long commitment to Mount Helena City Park and local trails and recreation has led to PPLT's pending transfer of 72 acres to the City of Helena to secure trail access and improve resource management. The Helena Independent Record tells the story of a long process, several project partners, and multiple benefits of the project.
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Date: 6/21/2019
Title: Story Mill Community Park Readies for July 20 Grand Opening
Summary: Bozeman's Story Mill Community Park, seven years and $16.3 million in the making, will officially open on July 20. A Bozeman Daily Chronicle article details the work by The Trust for Public Land, TPL's Maddy Pope and project partners to plan and construct the diverse, creative, and functional 60-acre park.
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Date: 6/20/2019
Title: 'Losing Ground' Film Tells Story of Disappearing Ag Lands
Summary: A film by the American Angus Association documents the loss of farm and ranch lands in the US and the sobering impact of those lost open lands to domestic food production and food security.
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Date: 6/19/2019
Title: Leopold Conservation Award Nomination Deadline is July 1
Summary: Nominations for the prestigious Montana Leopold Conservation Award, an award recognizing voluntary conservation work by agriculture producers and landowners, is July 1. In Montana, the Governor's Office, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's Rangeland Resources Committee will join the Sand County Foundation to present the $10,000 award to the first recipient from Montana later this year. The application may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may apply themselves. The application form is available on the Sand County Foundation website. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is among a large group of organizations supporting the Montana Leopold Conservation Award.
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Date: 6/17/2019
Title: Katie Egland Cox is New Executive Director at Kaniksu Land Trust
Summary: Welcome, Katie! Katie Egland Cox, a Sandpoint resident with “proven non-profit leadership experience, a passion for bringing people together, and years of collaborative service to education, recreation, and open space conservation“ is the new executive director at Kaniksu Land Trust. The announcement was formally made on June 14, and her first official day at KLT is June 17. Katie served as the volunteer co-chair of the KLT Pine Street Woods Capital Campaign and, upon its completion, jumped in to help with the implementation of Pine Street Woods.
 
Date: 6/17/2019
Title: RMEF Works to Conserve Land, Improve Access in the Swan Valley
Summary: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has worked with the Cruz family and the Lolo National Forest to purchase and conserve 638 acres of key habitat within an important wildlife corridor between the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Mission Mountains. The area is also a designated core area for Canada lynx and grizzly bears within the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and is near another RMEF-USFS collaborative effort, the 2017 Holland Lake project. A high priority for the USFS, the new Swan Valley project received funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and full support from the Montana Congressional Delegation.
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Date: 6/13/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Helps Conserve North Fork
Summary: Flathead Land Trust, with funding assistance from the Vital Ground Foundation, has closed on a 30-acre conservation easement in the North Fork of the Flathead that blocks up existing conserved lands and protects wildlife habitat for grizzly bears and a wide range of species. The Kalispell Daily Inter Lake reported that FLT had partnered with landowners Del and Linda Coolidge on the easement, which abuts a 1996 31-acre FLT easement. From the article: “(Original family owners) Betty and Pep Coolidge strongly advocated protection of open space for wildlife,“ the Coolidges said. “They would be proud to know that the property is now protected by a conservation easement with the Flathead Land Trust.“ For the Flathead Land Trust, the completed project adds to its efforts to conserve the open space wildlife habitat around Polebridge. “Sometimes, conserving a number of adjoining smaller parcels achieves the same conservation objective as conserving larger parcels of land,“ said Ryan Hunter of the Flathead Land Trust.
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Date: 6/12/2019
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Urges Improved Trail Etiquette
Summary: Penelope Pierce of Gallatin Valley Land Trust has produced a guest column in the Bozeman Chronicle in which she urges trail users to practice an improved sense of trail etiquette. GVLT's trails are immensely popular in the Bozeman area, and Pierce writes, "Perhaps it is time for all of us to consider small sacrifices and changes in our individual behavior to ensure that everyone's trail experiences remain positive. If we all took small steps to mitigate our cumulative impact, we could remedy many of the problems we experience."
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Date: 6/10/2019
Title: Montana TNC Ready to Revive and Thrive on July 14
Summary: The Nature Conservancy in Montana has set the date for the 5th Annual Revive and Thrive for July 14 near Placid Lake in the Seeley Lake area. Revive and Thrive is a TNC-sponsored community event which features volunteers focusing on on-the-ground stewardship, restoration and enhancement actions on projects like trails construction, weed management, and site restoration. Work activities will start at 10:00 AM and lunch will be served about 1:00 PM. More details from TNC will be forthcoming. From the TNC Save the Date notice: Bring your gloves, sunscreen and community spirit to help us spruce up the trails and other areas around Hill 16 (near Owl Creek Road). This spot gets a lot of use and deserves a little TLC! You supply the labor and we'll supply the lunch and brews. Contact TNC's Chris Bryant at cbryant@TNC.ORG with questions.
 
Date: 6/7/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Celebrates Summer Solstice on June 21
Summary: Flathead Land Trust and event partners Flathead Lakers and Flathead River to Lake Initiative will be celebrating the summer solstice on June 21 at a gathering at Hormuth's Rivers End Ranch in Bigfork. Music will be provided by Mike Murray and Chris Krager along with food by Somers Bay Cafe. Wine from Mission Mountain Winery and beer from Flathead Lake Brewing Co. will be available for purchase at a cash bar.
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Date: 6/6/2019
Title: Middle School Girls Organize GVLT Race to Help Fund Land Trust
Summary: Two middle school girls in Bozeman are organizing the Run for Trails 5K Race on June 15 to help raise funding for Gallatin Valley Land Trust trails and open land projects. “We both really like trails and running,“ Maya Keefer, age 12, said. “We both really love GVLT.“ Thirteen-year-old Nomi Friedman explained that they're having their bat mitzvahs this summer, to mark becoming adults in the Jewish community. They are members of Temple Beth Shalom. As part of the ceremony, they are encouraged to do a project to give back to the community. “I really love that we're teaching our classmates about the beauty of nature and trails,“ Maya said. “I feel grateful to live in a place where trails are everywhere and nature is everywhere.“
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Date: 6/5/2019
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Takes Education Outside
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust in Helena is working with AmeriCorps VISTA and Helena Public Schools' Project for Alternative Learning to get more high school students outside and help them learn about conservation and the natural world. "As a big fan and supporter of public lands, I was giddy when Tim told me that PPLT was interested in working with us," teacher Ryan Cooney said. "Getting kids involved and fostering passion for public lands is key to preserving and conserving our natural treasures. In three short weeks, the students clearly developed an affinity for our trails, parks and local ecosystems."
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Date: 6/3/2019
Title: Trust for Public Land Works to Conserve 22,295 Acres Through Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project
Summary: Assured public access, conservation of critical wildlife habitat, sustainable forest management, and healthy forests are the goals of a 22,295-acre project in northwest Montana involving The Trust for Public Land, Stimson Lumber Company and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The Kootenai Forestlands Conservation project will be the subject of a June 12 public meeting in Libby, and a project environmental assessment is available on the MT FWP website.
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Date: 5/31/2019
Title: Montana Land Trusts Celebrate National Trails Day
Summary: June 1 is 2019 National Trails Day, a day to celebrate, recognize, and enjoy trails. Several Montana land trusts are saluting National Trails Day with volunteer work projects, trails events and more. Thank you to everyone who helps maintain, build and improve community and public trails.
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Date: 5/30/2019
Title: Land Trust Voices Heard on Forestry Council
Summary: Governor Steve Bullock appointed two land trust voices - Mark Aagenes of The Nature Conservancy of Montana and Blake Henning of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - to the Montana Forest Action Advisory Council. The Council, created through Executive Order, is charged with updating the Montana Forest Action Plan to address long-term efforts to conserve working forest lands, protect forests from harm, and enhance public benefits from forests throughout the state. “We can and we must work together for the well-being of our forests and to reduce wildland fire risk,“ said Governor Bullock. “I'm confident that through these new partnerships we can protect our outdoor recreational opportunities, wildlife and fisheries habitat for a diverse range of species, drinking water supplies and soil health, all while treating more acres on the ground and investing in priority areas around the state." Governor Bullock called on the Council to examine current conditions and trends affecting all forested lands in Montana using a data-derived and scientifically rigorous process, ensure the plan does not counter or conflict with existing land management plans, and amplify ongoing collaborative efforts that bring together stakeholders representing diverse perspectives.
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Date: 5/29/2019
Title: Bitter Root Land Trust Reaches Skalkaho Park Funding Goal
Summary: An awesome effort and tremendous results help fund a new city park in Hamilton. Great job, Bitter Root Land Trust, City of Hamilton, The Conservation Fund and area residents.
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Date: 5/29/2019
Title: RMEF Works to Conserve Lands Along Rocky Mountain Front
Summary: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) acquired 620 acres of critical public access and prime wildlife habitat, including elk habitat, along Montana's Rocky Mountain Front within the boundary of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. RMEF then conveyed the property to the USFS. Not only does the transaction create new public access but it improves access to more than 2,000 acres of adjacent public land.
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Date: 5/20/2019
Title: NRCS, Five Valleys Land Trust, Buxbaum Ranch Team Up for Ag Conservation
Summary: Great example of what Montana private land conservation can accomplish: Open lands, ag conservation, expanded public access and protected wildlife habitat.
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Date: 5/20/2019
Title: TPL Seeks 'Urban Wildlife Oasis' at Story Mill Community Park
Summary: Story Mill Community Park in Bozeman, a community outdoor gem led by The Trust for Public Land, opened its nature sanctuary within the park and a recent guest column by TPL's Maddy Pope and others details the balanced management needed to ensure wildlife and people - and dogs - can enjoy the park. As the community conservation efforts of land trusts expand, concepts of park management and conflicts among users and purposes also expands. The 60-acre park is largely open to dogs, but the nature sanctuary portion of the park will focus on wildlife, and exclude dogs. TPL, the City of Bozeman and others are proposing “adopting this common sense management plan to ensure a balanced, happy and safe experience for people, dogs, and wildlife at Story Mill Community Park.“ Story Mill Community Park will hold its official park opening celebration July 20.
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Date: 5/17/2019
Title: Lewis and Clark County Commission Approves Falls Creek Funding
Summary: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Lewis and Clark County Commission and Dan Barrett help open up 26,000 acres of new access near Rocky Mountain Front. LWCF funds last piece of the puzzle. All three county commissioners voice strong support for the project, and vote to commit $1.4 million in county open land program funding to help make the project happen. Thank you, Lewis and Clark County Commissioners!
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Date: 5/14/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Launches Battle for the Paddle
Summary: Is the Flathead ready for the Battle for the Paddle? On May 5 Flathead Land Trust kicked off the Battle for Paddle, a roughly six-week fundraising effort that culminates on June 21 with FLT's Summer Solstice Party. Battle for the Paddle features an online bidding opportunity in which eight beautiful hand-painted canoe paddles will be auctioned during the bidding period. Funds are earmarked for FLT's Flathead River Conservation Project. From the FLT website: The Battle for a Paddle online auction includes 8 one-of-a-kind hand painted wood canoe paddles by well-known Flathead Valley artists. Participating artists who have generously donated painted paddles for the auction include Nancy Cawdrey, Colt Idol, Nick Oberling, James Corwin, Kenneth Yarus, Susan Guthrie, Lonnie Collinsworth and Joe Bottomly. Each paddle is unique and beautiful, depicting scenes of our amazing Flathead River system as well as fish and wildlife of northwest Montana. We can't thank the artists enough for showing their support for conservation along the Flathead River, and we look forward to offering everyone the chance to win one of these exceptional pieces of local art. To view the paddles and access the online bidding site, go to www.auctria.com/auction/battleforapaddle. Bidders will then need to register on the site before bidding on the paddles.
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Date: 5/13/2019
Title: RMEF Takes on Google, and Wins
Summary: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation enlisted the support of the Montana Congressional Delegation to persuade Google to reinstate a RMEF advertisement that Google originally denied because the pro-hunting ad was viewed as “animal cruelty.“ The Missoulian reported on the debate, which swirled around an ad placement on Google for a video featuring RMEF board member Nancy Hadley hunting elk in New Mexico. The advertisement for the video went to Google's Ad Network, which places the sponsored results above any Google search. When Google informed RMEF its ad was not allowed, RMEF contacted the Montana Congressional Delegation, each of whom fired off a letter to Google with strong encouragement to allow the RMEF ad to be restored. Google then reinstated the ad for the video, and the video is viewable here.
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Date: 5/10/2019
Title: First Veterans Ruck On America! Hike Takes Place at Skalkaho Bend Park
Summary: From the Ravalli Republic: Seventeen adults, some kids and three dogs took a walk Wednesday night along a portion of the Bitterroot River on what will eventually be known as Skalkaho Bend Park. Their leader was a veteran with a dream. Sometime in this coming year Dan Kimzey wants to create a new nationwide nonprofit for veterans and their families that he plans to call Ruck On America!
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Date: 5/9/2019
Title: Conservation Fund, MT FWP Finalize Dome Mountain Project
Summary: The Conservation Fund and Montana FWP have completed an important Dome Mountain project that benefits Yellowstone elk and other wildlife. The Bozeman Chronicle reported last week that TCF has finalized the sale of 160 acres of private land that abuts the Dome Mountain Wildlife Management Area to MT FWP for state management. The transaction consolidates a block of public land and secures habitat for elk that migrate between the Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park. Gates Watson, The Conservation Fund's Montana and northwest director, said that the parcel is “the last piece of the puzzle“ for the wildlife management area and provides “significant benefits for both FWP's management efforts and the animals that migrate across the landscape of the Greater Yellowstone area.“
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Date: 5/7/2019
Title: Conservation Success Story: Huntley Ranch, NRCS, Montana TNC
Summary: The Huntley Ranch, The Nature Conservancy of Montana and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have teamed up through the NRCS Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) Program to conserve 9,163 acres of wildlife habitat and agricultural lands in the Big Hole Valley.
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Date: 5/6/2019
Title: NRCS - MALT Partnership Meeting Set for Bozeman on May 8
Summary: The NRCS - MALT Partnership Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 8, starting at 1:00 PM, in the NRCS State Office in Bozeman. The meeting is in a second floor conference room and does have teleconference capability, so folks wanting to join the meeting via teleconference should contact ALE Program Coordinator Tom Mallon at tom@montanalandtrusts.org. Tom and the NRCS have shared the May 8 partnership meeting agenda with the MALT membership, the meeting has been discussed during a NRCS - MALT conference call, MALT board of directors conference call, and a MALT Farm Bill Team conference call, so things should be good to go on May 8. This will be Tom Mallon and NRCS State Conservationist Tom Watson's first official NRCS - MALT Partnership Meeting and the agenda offers a wide range of important NRCS and land trust topics: Closing 2014 Farm Bill ALE projects, 2018 Farm Bill implementation, 2019 ALE Program allocation and funding levels, Regional Conservation Partnership Program efforts in Montana, ongoing communications and focus within the NRCS and land trusts, and more. Feel free to get in touch with Tom Mallon if you have questions about the meeting, agenda or logistics.
 
Date: 5/3/2019
Title: Heart of the Rockies Meets May 15-16
Summary: The Heart of the Rockies Initiative membership will gather in Pinedale, WY, starting at 11:00 AM on May 15 at the Lakeside Lodge on Fremont Lake, with a full agenda that runs through the afternoon of May 16. Featured meeting agenda topics include the Wyoming Migration Initiative, Upper Green River Valley Collaboration, an afternoon field tour on May 15 showcasing Upper Green River Valley Collaboration wildlife migration efforts and projects. The May 16 agenda offers insights into the Heart of the Rockies Landscape Campaign, 2019 Landscape Challenge Grants, and more. For more information contact JoAnn Grant, HOTR Program Director, at 406-640-2816 or at joann@heart-of-the-rockies.org.
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Date: 5/1/2019
Title: May 11 is Race Day for Prickly Pear Land Trust
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust is holding the 19th Annual Don't Fence Me In Trail Run on Saturday, May 11, in Helena, with four different races ranging from a 30K run to a 5K dog walk. The PPLT website has full race and event information, and interested runners and walkers should note entry fees go up on May 9. The Don't Fence Me In Trail Run has emerged as not only one of Helena's major community events but also a showcase trails run for participants. From the PPLT website: Each May, Montana's trail running season kicks off with Helena's Don't Fence Me In Trail Run. What started off as a small gathering aimed at generating support and excitement for local open space is now a major community event celebrating our local wild lands and our connection to them. And what better way to celebrate the outdoors than wandering the switchbacks and rough terrain with your fellow outdoor enthusiasts!
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Date: 4/30/2019
Title: Montana Seeking Nominations for Leopold Conservation Award
Summary: Governor Steve Bullock and the State of Montana are seeking nominations for the Montana Leopold Conservation Award, an award recognizing voluntary conservation work by agriculture producers and landowners. “Too often we take for granted the remarkable contributions our state's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners make to help sustain the landscapes and values we care deeply about as Montanans,“ said Bullock. “I am delighted to partner with the Sand County Foundation to bring the Leopold Award to Montana to recognize a few of our exceptional working lands leaders and I look forward to their stories inspiring neighbors and generations to come with an ethic of thoughtful management and environmental stewardship.“ In Montana, the Governor's Office, Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's Rangeland Resources Committee will join the Sand County Foundation to present the $10,000 award to the first recipient from Montana later this year. Applications for the first Montana Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted. The application may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may apply themselves. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is among a large group of organizations supporting the Montana Leopold Conservation Award.
  Read the complete article
 
Date: 4/29/2019
Title: May is Big Month for Proposed Skalkaho Bend Park
Summary: Bitter Root Land Trust and the community of Hamilton are planning some big things in May as part of a major fundraising push for Skalkaho Bend Park. A series of events throughout the month kick off on Wednesday, May 1, with an event in the BRLT offices. An article in the Ravalli Republic details the events designed to help raise $30,000 needed to complete the acquisition of the property. Skalkaho Bend Park will be a new 70-acre community park located close to the existing Hamilton River Park, and will provide public access to 1.5 miles of the Bitterroot River. BRLT is spearheading the community-wide effort, with The Conservation Fund providing bridge financing. The plan is for BRLT to turn the property over to the City of Hamilton for public ownership later in 2019. The motto for the fundraising effort is “Create Your Path. Create Your Park.“ Additional information about Skalkaho Bend Park is available at the BRLT website.
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Date: 4/24/2019
Title: Nominations Sought by April 30 for Missoula County Land Stewardship Award
Summary: Missoula County and the county's Open Lands Advisory Committee are seeking applications for the 2019 Missoula County Land Stewardship Award. The nomination form is available on the Community and Planning Services Open Lands website. For additional information contact Kylie Paul, Natural Resource Specialist, Missoula County Community and Planning Services. Previous award winners include Land Lindbergh, Bud Moore, David and Kathryn Owen and others. Nominations are due by April 30.
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Date: 4/23/2019
Title: 'The Stars Have Been Aligned' for Kaniksu Land Trust's Pine Street Woods
Summary: Pine Street Woods, Kaniksu Land Trust's ambitious community conservation achievement, is moving into the implementation phase, which means upgrading the access road, building a parking lot, adding signage to the trails, and more. Pine Street Woods is a 160-acre community forest, education and outdoor recreation project that has blossomed into 322-acres and 3.5 miles of trails. A Bonner County Daily Bee April 21 article contains some wonderful quotes about the project. KLT Conservation Director Regan Plumb: “It's hard for me to believe, after close to 10 years, that Kaniksu Land Trust finally owns this property. I feel like the forward has been written and now we're starting Chapter 1.“ KLT Board President Jim Zuberbuhler: “That's (the 322 acres) a little more than half the size of Central Park. A couple of generations from now, this will be such a part of the fabric of our community that people won't be able to imagine Sandpoint without it.“ KLT Campaign Committee Member Julie Meyer: “Imagine the legacy in the center of our town in 50 years, as the community embraces this space. I like to think of it as our own little Golden Gate Park.“ KLT Conservation Director Regan Plumb: “Education has been a strong component of this project from the beginning. Kaniksu Land Trust is primarily devoted to land conservation, but we see this kind of outreach as a tool to connect people more directly to the land.“ KLT Board President Jim Zuberbuhler: “The stars have been aligned for this project from the very beginning."
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Date: 4/22/2019
Title: Montana Parks and Trails Bill Headed to the Governor
Summary: SB 24, the bill that expands funding for Montana State Parks and for new trails passed the House last week 65-31 in the third reading floor vote and also passed the House Appropriations Committee by 16-6, and now awaits the Governor's signature into law. The bill is expected to produce close to $2 million per year for state parks, fishing access sites and Virginia and Nevada cities. Also, within that $2 million will be close to $950,000 per year in trails funding. SB 24 was sponsored by Sen Terry Gauthier (R-Helena) and supported by a broad coalition that included Prickly Pear Land Trust and MALT. MALT extends its appreciation to Sen. Gauthier (right) and coalition leader Bob Walker for their strong leadership on this bill, to the entire coalition membership as well as the legislators who voted in favor of SB 24.
 
Date: 4/19/2019
Title: The Nature Conservancy Matador Ranch Land/Science Symposium On Tap June 12
Summary: The 9th Annual Matador Ranch Science and Land Management Symposium is set for Wednesday, June 12, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, at The Nature Conservancy Matador Ranch in north central Montana. The symposium offers an opportunity to engage researchers and land managers (private landowners, agency, and non-profit), with presentations focused on current or recently completed research. Examples of presentation topics include land management tools and innovations, and opportunities for cooperation between conservation and ranching communities in the grasslands and sagebrush steppe in the northern Great Plains and beyond. For more information contact Brian Martin at TNC or Jolynn Messerly, Matador Ranch Operations Administrator via email at jmesserly@tnc.org, or 406-673-3344 (Office) or 406-945-0378 (Cell). Presentation titles and short summaries are due by May 17.
 
Date: 4/18/2019
Title: GVLT's NextGen Advisory Council Looking Ahead
Summary: The guest column in the April 13 edition of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle contained this paragraph: "With a median age of 27, Bozeman is a young city, providing a huge opportunity for our peers to shape the region in the decades to come. That's why it's so heartening that the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) is committed to making sure our demographic is seen and heard in their mission of conserving open space and creating trails." The article was submitted by a quartet of four young professionals who serve on the GVLT NextGen Advisory Board, a group of young Gallatin area professionals who focus not just on conservation in perpetuity, but “conservation leadership perpetuity.“
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Date: 4/15/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Solstice Party Set for June 21
Summary: Flathead Land Trust, Flathead Lakers, and the Flathead River to Lake Initiative will be celebrating Flathead River conservation and the longest day of the summer with an event on the North Shore of Flathead Lake at the Hormuth's Rivers End Ranch.
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Date: 4/12/2019
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Expanding Trails to the 'M'
Summary: Gallatin Valley Land Trust and the City of Bozeman continue to work on community trails expansion that would link downtown Bozeman with the "M" Trail and other trails. GVLT Executive Director Penelope Pierce said this next phase will fulfill a major piece of GVLT founder Chris Boyd's vision. “A trail from the library all the way to the Bridgers, the M Trail, and to the mountains to the south with the Painted Hills Trails,“ she said. “There has always been that gap along Bringer Canyon Drive; we have been trying to figure that piece of the puzzle out for 29 years.“ The city announced Thursday that construction has begun on the long-awaited path linking town to the “M,“ the most-used trail in the Gallatin National Forest, and Drinking Horse Mountain.
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Date: 4/11/2019
Title: Senator Daines Encourages IRS Commission to Crack Down on Syndication
Summary: Montana Senator Steve Daines, during a Senate hearing, encouraged the IRS Commission to continue legal and procedural efforts to stop the syndicated abuse of conservation easement transactions. Daines made it clear in his comments that traditional conservation as conducted in Montana benefits the public in many ways, but syndicated easement transactions are abusive use of this legitimate conservation tool.
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Date: 4/10/2019
Title: Montana Senators Tester and Daines Lead LWCF Funding Effort
Summary: Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester are leading the charge for permanent dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The two Montana Senators have signed a Dear Colleague Letter seeking FY20 LWCF funding and are original cosponsors of Senate legislation establishing permanent and dedicated funding for the LWCF. Thank you, Senators!
 
Date: 4/10/2019
Title: Smith Family, NRCS, MLR Team Up for Ag Conservation
Summary: Great example of landowner conservation in cooperation with USDA/NRCS and The Montana Land Reliance. The conservation on the private land makes management of the surrounding public land more important, and the management on the public land makes the conservation on private land more valuable. Impressive results from good people working within a good program.
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Date: 4/8/2019
Title: Land Trust Leads New Park Along the Bitterroot River
Summary: Wonderful community conservation in Hamilton. Great job by Bitter Root Land Trust and everyone involved. City of Hamilton, local residents, The Conservation Fund and others helping to create major new outdoor asset for the community of Hamilton.
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Date: 4/5/2019
Title: Land Trusts Rally in the Capitol on April 11
Summary: The agenda is set, the land trust community has been provided details and information about the day's activities, and Prickly Pear Land Trust is (thank you) arranging lunch in the Capitol Rotunda for Land Trust Day in the Capitol on April 11. The event gets underway at 10:00 AM with a greeting from Sen. Terry Gauthier (R-Helena) on the second floor in the Rotunda. Other activities include land trust exhibits in the Rotunda, informal discussions with legislators, a land trust-hosted lunch for 250 in the Rotunda, recognition for land trusts from the House and Senate floor and a meeting with Governor Bullock. Land trusts are reminded to let Glenn Marx know who from your organization is able to attend, so we can get that list to the Governor during the afternoon of April 8. Please contact Glenn with questions or comments about the day's activities.
 
Date: 4/5/2019
Title: Vital Ground, NRCS, Sexton Team Up to Conserve Glen Willow Ranch
Summary: The Vital Ground Foundation, NRCS and its Agricultural Land Easement Program and Mary Sexton have teamed up to conserve a 650-acre family ranch along the Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau.
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Date: 4/4/2019
Title: Kaniksu Land Trust Completes Pine Street Woods Community Forest Project
Summary: Kaniksu Land Trust in Sandpoint, ID, is celebrating the completion of the organization's largest conservation project to date, the 180-acre Pine Street Woods Community Forest project. A featured article in the Bonner County Daily Bee salutes the collaborative and determined work that produced the $2.1 million project as well as the community benefits that flow from the project's management.
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Date: 4/3/2019
Title: Gallatin County Commission Approves Funding for Ag Lands Conservation
Summary: Gallatin County Commissioners recently approved funding to conserve 1,092 acres of farm and ranch ground in the Amsterdam-Churchill area. More than 50,000 acres of Gallatin County open land has been conserved thanks to voter-approved ballot measures. Key additional funding sources are the NRCS ALE Program and landowner donations.
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Date: 4/2/2019
Title: Vital Ground Building Success at Alvord Lake
Summary: It has been a busy year for the Vital Ground Foundation and its community forest at Alvord Lake in northwest Montana. Vital Ground purchased the 142-acre property in 2016 and created a collaborative effort to manage the forest for wildlife habitat, recreational access, forest health and other values. An article on Vital Ground's website details a March 6 community forest management meeting that discussed forest thinning, prescribed burning and education.
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Date: 4/1/2019
Title: Saving Land Magazine Touts Farm Bill
Summary: Good article in Spring 2019 edition of Saving Land Magazine about the Farm Bill and open land conservation. Montana land trusts voice support for the Farm Bill and the NRCS.
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Date: 3/28/2019
Title: US Senate Finance Committee Investigates Syndicated Conservation Projects
Summary: Good News: US Senate Finance Committee joins the IRS and US Department of Justice in investigating syndication and abuse of conservation transactions. Thanks to Sen. Daines for legislative help. From the Land Trust Alliance: "Only a handful of the more than 2,000 conservation easements completed annually are the work of bad actors abusing the system. But these actors must be stopped." Investigated, penalized and stopped.
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Date: 3/27/2019
Title: Kaniksu Land Trust Searching for Executive Director
Summary: Kaniksu Land Trust's search for a new executive director continues, with an April 5 cutoff date for applications. KLT is located in Sandpoint, ID, works in Idaho and Montana, and has recently significantly expanded its land conservation and community conservation efforts. The position description and application information is available on the FLT website and says, “The ideal candidate will be a strong, well-focused, and dynamic leader willing to reach out to our community and promote the mission of KLT through public engagement and fundraising. This person will need to be able to inspire and direct a small but talented staff and engage an array of community partners and collaborators.“
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Date: 3/26/2019
Title: Governor Bullock Seeking Applicants for Grizzly Bear Advisory Council
Summary: Governor Steve Bullock is seeking Montanans to apply to serve on a newly-created Grizzly Bear Advisory Council to assist the State of Montana develop plans for eventual state management of grizzly bears. “Legal uncertainty has created a void requiring our leadership,“ Governor Bullock said in creating the advisory council. “As bears continue to expand in numbers and habitat, we must identify durable and inclusive strategies to address current issues and prepare for the future. This advisory council represents a key step toward Montana embracing the tremendous responsibility and opportunity of long-term Grizzly Bear recovery and management.“
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Date: 3/25/2019
Title: NRCS / MALT Partnership Meeting Set for May 8
Summary: The NRCS / MALT Partnership Meeting will take place the afternoon of May 8 in Bozeman, at the NRCS State Office. Erik Suffridge of the NRCS and Tom Mallon (Montana ALE Program Coordinator) will be working on the meeting agenda, so land trusts are encouraged to contact them with ideas for agenda topics. The meeting will present a good opportunity to discuss 2019 ALE Program provisions and funding levels, 202 ALE Program expectations, RCPP provisions, Focused Conservation, the NRCS State Technical Committee, individual ALE projects, and more.
 
Date: 3/24/2019
Title: Land Trust Day in the Capitol Coming Up April 11
Summary: The MALT membership legislative Land Trust Day in the Capitol is coming up on April 11, and detailed information about the day's agenda will be finalized soon. The event will kick off at 10:00 AM with a brief welcome and pep talk by State Senator Terry Gauthier (R-Helena), sponsor of SB 24, a bill that would expand trails and parks funding. The bill has passed the Senate and will be heard in the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks Committee on March 28. Thanks to Prickly Pear Land Trust, which has kindly offered to take a lead on serving lunch in the Capitol rotunda at noon on April 11. Please consider making the trip to Helena on April 11 for the day's festivities. Land Trust Day in the Capitol presents a great opportunity to discuss the importance of private land conservation to a key audience of policy makers. More details coming soon.
 
Date: 3/20/2019
Title: Losing Ground Trailer Tells Compelling Story
Summary: by Glenn Marx, MALT Executive Director - Every minute, reports the American Angus Association, the US loses three acres of land that is currently growing food. That translates to 175 acres of ag lands lost every hour, 1.5 million acres of farm and ranch land per year. That's alarming. And if you want to watch a video that sounds that alarm, and eventually watch a documentary that will debut on May 27, 2019 on RFD-TV, take a look at the 1:58 minute video produced by the American Angus Association. This is not your basic (and valuable) land trust video about open spaces. This is a video documenting the brutal truth about food supply and food security. It is not meant to charm you. It is meant to warn you, perhaps even scare you. And everyone should see it. We in the land trust community should help make sure everyone sees it. Two comments from the video promo: “Hungry people are not strong people.“ “It doesn't make for a safe place to live when people start fighting over food.“ The video is a compelling two minutes. The documentary should be equally compelling, and it is going to be interesting to see how the American Angus Association tells this story. It is possible that the documentary will be must-see TV for people who oppose the incredibly valuable work of land trusts, ag groups, landowners, agencies, and conservation programs in conserving farm and ranch lands.
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Date: 3/19/2019
Title: Conservation Success Story at Coal Banks Landing
Summary: The Montana Land Reliance and the NRCS have partnered with the Anderson family on a conservation easement that impressively does all this: Conserves ranch lands, preserves Montana historical sites and recreation opportunities, helps protect the Missouri River National Wild and Scenic corridor, conserves cottonwood galleries, shortgrass prairies, and maintains habitat for over 40 bird species. Outstanding!
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Date: 3/18/2019
Title: Ties to the Land Workshop Coming to Butte on April 13
Summary: The Ties to the Land Workshop comes to Butte on April 13 to help families prepare for succession planning of property. The Ties to the Land Workshop, subtitled “The human side of estate planning,“ is presented by the Forest Stewardship Foundation with help from the Montana Association of Land Trusts. Additional information about the Ties workshop is available at the Montana Forest Stewardship Foundation website, which includes a registration form. The workshop runs 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Butte Business Development Center, Room 209, at 305 W. Mercury in Uptown Butte. Workshop leaders will again be Madeline and Kirk David, who have been bringing the popular and respected Ties workshops to Montana for several years. Attendance for the workshop is currently open, and will close on March 31. Attendance is limited to 25 to accommodate the personal interactive aspects of the workshops. Landowners who have participated in the Ties workshops report the workshops have been informative, helpful, and instructive on succession planning of land. The concept of conservation easements within succession planning is a topic within the workshops.
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Date: 3/12/2019
Title: American Angus Association Reports the US is Losing Ground
Summary: "Losing Ground" is the name of a documentary produced by the American Angus Association that takes a hard look at the loss of agricultural lands in the US. A two-minute video promotes the upcoming documentary and offers some sobering information about the loss of ag land in America.
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Date: 3/11/2019
Title: Montana Land Reliance, Raths Family, the NRCS and a Sage Grouse Conservation Success Story
Summary: The Montana NRCS website Success Stories feature focuses on the Raths family, The Montana Land Reliance and the NRCS ALE Program. They, with major support from the Montana Sage Grouse Conservation Program, all team up on an 11,230-acre conservation easement to conserve sage grouse and family agricultural operations.
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Date: 3/8/2019
Title: Blackfoot Challenge Conservation Strategies Committee Meets March 19
Summary: The Blackfoot Challenge will host its annual Conservation Strategies Committee Meeting on Tuesday, March 19, from 10:00 AM to Noon at the Lubrecht Conference Center. Sara Schmidt of the Challenge is working on an agenda for the meeting, and can be reached at sara@blackfootchallenge.org. Several MALT members participate in the Conservation Strategies Committee, which is composed of watershed landowners, agencies, land trusts, local government, and nonprofits that meets on an annual basis to share information and updates on conservation efforts in the watershed.
 
Date: 3/7/2019
Title: Ask and Expert Will Focus on Advocacy
Summary: Robert Schwartz, Land Trust Alliance ambassador program manager, will lead an Alliance Western Program Ask an Expert segment on “Advocacy 101 for Land Trusts“ on March 12 at noon (Mountain Time). The registration deadline is March 8. Participants will discuss differences between lobbying and advocating, creating and cultivating relationships with legislators, developing an advocacy plan, resources from the Land Trust Alliance to help your advocacy work. Participants are encouraged to contact Brad Paymar at the Alliance Western Program at bpaymar@lta.org with questions for the speaker. Land trust advocacy has long been a MALT priority and Montana land trusts may want to learn about ways to improve advocacy.
 
Date: 3/6/2019
Title: MLR, Raths Family Team Up on Sage Grouse Conservation
Summary: The Montana Land Reliance, the Raths family, and lead project partners the NRCS ALE Program and the Montana Sage Grouse Conservation Program, teamed up recently to conserve over 11,000 acres of ranch land and sage grouse habitat. MLR announced the closing of the project via social media, with a post that ended with, “We are so grateful to the Raths for their partnership, and proud to count them among our landowners!“ MLR has worked - and is working - extensively with the state's sage grouse program on several sage grouse conservation efforts.
 
Date: 3/6/2019
Title: RecCon Montana Coming to Missoula
Summary: The Montana Outdoors Foundation is sponsoring a three-day outdoor recreation convention - dubbed RecCon Montana - in Missoula on July 19-21 at Fort Missoula. The Missoulian article announcing RecCon reports the event “hopes to bring both the business and policy sides of outdoor recreation together this summer for a three-day exposition in Missoula.“ Any and all aspects of outdoor recreation are included within the event, and more info is available at the RecCon website. Jeff Wright, a UM graduate, a member of the Montana Ambassadors, an expert in computer technology and design and President of the Montana Outdoors Foundation, is leading the RecCon event and working with nonprofits like Five Valleys Land Trust in the process. From the Missoulian article: At Five Valleys Land Trust, philanthropy director Whitney Schwab said she looked forward to an opportunity to show how land trust work contributes to the outdoor economy. Projects like Five Valley's Dean Stone easements and trails, or the new trail networks in Whitefish and Three Forks, give people more places to follow their hobbies and passions. "I think the timing is good to have that kind of cross-section of outdoor professionals and outdoor industry people to come together," Schwab said. "We're excited to have the exposure of our role in supporting the outdoor industry with the spaces we helped create and steward.“
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Date: 3/4/2019
Title: The Nature Conservancy Grasslands Conservation Vision Involves Landowners
Summary: Brian Martin, grasslands conservation director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana, wrote a recent guest opinion for the Billings Gazette in which he articulated the success of TNC's grassland banking programs in places like north central Montana. The TNC Matador Ranch (featured in MALT's 2016 film “On the Shoulders of Giants) “touches more than 350,000 acres and 25 ranch families,“ Brian writes in his op-ed. The articles ends with: We trust that local owners who have expertise, passion, and commitment to the land are the best way forward for conservation and this is also the best way for their communities to thrive. In a world where both trust and vision can often seem in short supply, these partnerships are proving that they still exist, sometimes with the most unlikely of allies.
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Date: 2/28/2019
Title: Bitter Root Land Trust, NRCS, Griffin Family Maintain Ranch Legacy
Summary: Thanks to Troy and Dena Griffin, the NRCS and a Farm Bill ag conservation program, and Bitter Root Land Trust, the Griffin Ranch near Stevensville in the Bitterroot Valley a ranch is conserved, brought back to life, and a legacy retained.
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Date: 2/28/2019
Title: US House Passes Permanent Reauthorization of the LWCF
Summary: The US House of Representatives voted 363-62 on Feb. 27 to pass permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a public lands package that includes conservation measures for Montana. The bill was sent to the President's desk where his signature is expected, and when it happens it will be final step that accomplishes a historical conservation accomplishment. All three members of the Montana Congressional Delegation vocally supported passage of S. 47, the bill that contains the LWCF reauthorization and the public lands package. Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte spoke on the House floor in favor of LWCF reauthorization and in favor of the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, which would eliminate 30,000 acres in the Paradise Valley from mining.
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Date: 2/26/2019
Title: The Conservation Fund Film Showcases Rocky Mountain Ranch Conservation
Summary: Lovely, emotional, lyrical and visual story of one Montana ranch on the Rocky Mountain Front. Impressive story and some amazing images. The Conservation Fund and the Crabb Ranch team up on ranch conservation and a beautiful 8-minute film.
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Date: 2/25/2019
Title: TPL's Story Mill Community Park Includes Housing
Summary: Story Mill Community Park, a gift to Bozeman residents made possible through leadership from The Trust for Public Land, is making progress on a housing component affiliated with the park. A Feb. 22 Chronicle article touted TPL's partnership with Bozeman HRDC on a proposed subsidized housing project to adjoin the Story Mill Park complex. The plan is smaller homes, featuring accessibility to the city's new community park, a combination that fits with TPL's vision that everyone live within a 10-minute walking distance of a park.
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Date: 2/22/2019
Title: RMEF Hosts Interactive Elk Migration Display
Summary: A collaborative effort by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the National Geographic Society has generated an interactive exhibit now on display at RMEF headquarters in Missoula that shows the year-around migration of elk across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The exhibit, titled Invisible Boundaries, is a highly interactive exhibit created by National Geographic and based on years of scientific data. “This is an amazing exhibit that follows the migration routes of nine different elk herds throughout the Yellowstone region,“ said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the good folks at National Geographic in allowing us to host this display and we encourage everyone to come check it out.“ Added Chris Johns, Beyond Yellowstone program leader for the National Geographic Society, “The Invisible Boundaries exhibit ended up at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because that's where it belongs. RMEF is about elk and education and helping people understand the intricacies and wonder of elk.“ RMEF is located at 5705 Grant Creek Road in Missoula.
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Date: 2/21/2019
Title: Montana TNC, Landowners Work to Keep Ag Land as Ag Land
Summary: Area ranchers and The Nature Conservancy in Montana form creative partnership in north central Montana to help keep ranch land in private hands as ranch land.
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Date: 2/18/2019
Title: Five Valleys Land Trust Wrapping Up Projects Near Philipsburg, Garrison
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust and a diverse array of project partners are actively working to close two conservation projects, one near Philipsburg (Buxbaum-Boulder Ranch) and one close to Garrison (Graveley Ranch). The Missoula Current article details the status of the two separate projects, which total over 4,200 acres of conservation. Five Valleys led the way on the two projects, with help from several key partners, including The Conservation Fund; Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Natural Resource Damages Program. In the article, Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission chair Dan Vermillion “heaped praise on the conservation easements and all the partners who made them happen.“ “It may not appear to folks right now that this is really important. But I can guarantee that in 100 years, people will be thanking you for getting this done,“ Vermillion said.
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Date: 2/13/2019
Title: Senate Passes Permanent LWCF Reauthorization 92-8
Summary: The US Senate voted 92-8 yesterday to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. That's historically important bipartisan support for conservation and outdoor recreation. Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines helped lead passage of S. 47 and are strong and consistent LWCF advocates. The measure now goes to the US House for passage and then to the President for his signature.
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Date: 2/11/2019
Title: Two Land Trusts Apply for FWP Trails Grants
Summary: Bitter Root Land Trust, continuing to expand its conservation and outdoor recreation service to Ravalli County, is seeking a $98,985 Montana Recreation Trails Program grant to help build trails at the proposed new Skalkaho Bend Park in Hamilton. The Ravalli Republic reported BRLT is one of three Ravalli County entities applying for funding within the program. Over $3.5 million of requests have been submitted for $1.5 million in available funding. Another Montana land trust applying for FWP trails funding in 2019 is Five Valleys Land Trust, which is seeking an $80,540 grant to expand trails at the Mount Dean Stone project.
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Date: 2/7/2019
Title: LWCF Advances in US Senate
Summary: Good day yesterday for the LWCF in the US Senate. Strong bipartisan majority of Senators votes to deny two amendments hostile to the LWCF. There's still more work to do, but thanks to Senators Daines and Tester for their votes in support of the LWCF. The land trust community developed a guest column that details the incredible value of LWCF to Montana.
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Date: 2/6/2019
Title: US Senate Procedural Vote Okays LWCF Reauthorization 99-1
Summary: An important first step was taken Feb. 5 when the US Senate approved a procedural vote that advanced a public lands package of legislation that included permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill passed 99-1, was led by Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester, and while additional congressional action is needed this first vote by the Senate is positive start in this Congress.
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Date: 2/4/2019
Title: Land Trust Stewards Hold Retreat at Pine Butte Guest Ranch
Summary: Montana land trust and agency stewardship staff have set Feb. 21-22 for a 2019 Stewardship Staff Retreat at The Nature Conservancy in Montana's Pine Butte Guest Ranch along the Rocky Mountain Front. A 2018 stewardship retreat had been held at the Five Valleys Land Trust Rock Creek Confluence Property. Ryan Hunter at Flathead Land Trust is helping organize the 2019 retreat, which starts at 11:30 AM on Feb. 21 and wraps up after breakfast on Feb. 22. The agenda includes Case Study Presentations, an Open Floor Q&A, a Potluck Dinner and opportunities for other informal discussions.
 
Date: 2/1/2019
Title: US Senate Schedules LWCF Floor Discussion Next Week
Summary: Great news: The US Senate will take a key first step toward reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund next week. Thanks to Senator Daines and Senator Tester for their commitment on this. If you hike, hunt, float, ride, enjoy the outdoors, enjoy parks and playgrounds, or like seeing open land and wildlife, you have benefited by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
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Date: 1/30/2019
Title: Work Continues in 2019 at Mount Dean Stone, Missoula's Once In a Lifetime Opportunity
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust is partnering with several local organizations as the Mount Dean Stone forest management and recreational access project continues.
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Date: 1/28/2019
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Works Toward Greenway Approval
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust is working with the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program on a draft Restoration Plan for East Helena that includes a PPLT proposed Prickly Pear Creek Greenway project. The preferred alternative of the draft Restoration Plan for East Helena contains $3.2 million for the proposed greenway.
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Date: 1/26/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: The Trust for Public Land
Summary: Day 12: 12 Land Trusts/12 Phrases - The Trust for Public Land: Alex Diekmann Peak. Story Mill Park. Haskill Basin. Parks and land for people. Public lands. Taylor Fork. Trumbull Creek. ParkScore Index. Stillwater State Forest. O'Dell Creek. Beavertail to Bearmouth. Oliffe Ranch. The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization with a regional office in Bozeman. We've saluted each of the 12 Montana Association of Land Trusts members in our 12 Land Trusts / 12 Phrases / 12 Days series. Thanks to the Montana land trust community for their contributions to Montana's economy, landscape, outdoor recreation and quality of life.
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Date: 1/25/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Flathead Land Trust
Summary: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Phrases: Flathead Land Trust - River to Lake. Sandhill cranes. Wetlands. Clean water. Agricultural heritage. Flathead River. Prime farmland. North Shore. Wildlife habitat. 1885 homestead. Heart of the Flathead Valley. Partnerships. Flathead Land Trust is based in Kalispell and works throughout the Flathead Valley
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Date: 1/24/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Five Valleys Land Trust
Summary: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Phrases: Five Valleys Land Trust - Western Montana. Mount Dean Stone. Rock Creek Confluence Property. Flint Creek Valley. Mount Jumbo. Community. Family Farms and Ranches. Lincoln Community River Park. Alberton Gorge. Wildlife Habitat. Missoula. Protect What You Love.
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Date: 1/23/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Kaniksu Land Trust
Summary: 12 Land Trusts/12 Phrases: Kaniksu Land Trust - Bull River Valley. Pine Street Woods. Protecting forests and farms. Camp Kaniksu. Play in nature. Sasquatch. WildCrafting. Healthy land, healthy communities. StoryWalk. Outdoor education. Community conservation. #outside7b. Kaniksu Land Trust is based in Sandpoint, ID, and also works in Montana's Sanders County.
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Date: 1/22/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: The Conservation Fund
Summary: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Phrases: The Conservation Fund - Rocky Mountain Front. Traveler's Rest. Circle R Ranch. Conservation that works. Garrity Mountain. Conservation revolving loans. Grasslands. Meeteetse Spires. Elkhorn Mountains. Greater Yellowstone. Montana Homegrown Wood. Foys to Blacktail.
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Date: 1/21/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: The Montana Land Reliance
Summary: 12 Montana Land Trusts / 12 Phrases: The Montana Land Reliance: One million acres. Cows not Condos. Madison Valley. Agriculture. Leadership. Sage grouse. Legacy. Ruby Habitat Foundation. President's Award. Trout Route. Open spaces. Nourish the spirit of future generations.
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Date: 1/20/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Summary: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Phrases: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - Kitchen table in Troy, MT. Hunting heritage. Habitat. Team Elk. Hunting is conservation. Elk Camp. Land protection. Public access. Falls Creek. Mineral Hill. 234,982 RMEF members. Tenderfoot Creek. Bugle.
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Date: 1/20/2019
Title: MALT Endorses Charitable Conservation Easement Integrity Act
Summary: The Jan. 18 headline of "Daines Bill Would Block Conservation Easement Abuse" was accurate, but would perhaps also benefit by a brief explanation. Senator Daines and the Land Trust Alliance have worked together to introduce the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act of 2019. This effort and this bill support traditional conservation easements with farm and ranch families, and the bill is introduced with strong support from the Montana land trust community. The MALT membership is appreciative of the efforts by Senator Daines and the Alliance on this issue.
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Date: 1/19/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Bitter Root Land Trust
Summary: 12 Land Trusts in 12 Days: Bitter Root Land Trust - Farm and ranch legacies. Sold out barn dances. Steve Powell Park. Agriculture. Burnt Fork. Bitterroot River. Open Lands. Art and conservation. Rural heritage. Future generations. Winter Eagle Study. Skalkaho Bend. Community.
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Date: 1/19/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Prickly Pear Land Trust
Summary: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Days: Prickly Pear Land Trust - Connecting Land and People. Sevenmile. Don't Fence Me In. South Hills. Tenmile. Community Conservation. Harvest Moon. Trails. Gehring Ranch. Mount Ascension. Emmett. Peaks to Creeks.
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Date: 1/18/2019
Title: MALT Applauds Sen. Daines Introduction of Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act
Summary: The Montana Association of Land Trusts applauds and endorses the introduction of the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act of 2019 by Montana Senator Steve Daines. The bill seeks to eliminate the ability of partnership investors to profit from the donation of a conservation easement on land held for a short time. Like legislation first introduced during the previous Congress, this bill's language makes clear that conservation easement donations, like other charitable donations, are not intended to be profit opportunities. Montana is a national leader in private land conservation, and land trusts have been working with Montana landowners to voluntarily create traditional conservation easements for over 40 years, conserving land and water and helping maintain the essence and character of Montana.
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Date: 1/17/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: The Vital Ground Foundation
Summary: The Vital Ground Foundation - Protecting grizzly habitat. Preventing conflicts between bears and people. Ninemile linkage. Wild River Grizzly Project. Glen Willow. Alvord Lake Community Forest. The Right Places. Connecting Landscapes. Bart the Bear. Doug Seus. Grizzly Conservation.
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Date: 1/17/2019
Title: Two Land Trust Leaders Appointed to GO-MT Advisory Council
Summary: Two land trust community members have been appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to serve on the GetOutdoors Montana (GO-MT) Advisory Council, an advisory wing for the Governor's Office of Outdoor Recreation. Jennifer Doherty, director of lands for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Kendall Van Dyk, managing director for The Montana Land Reliance, were appointed as part of the 12-member advisory council on Jan. 11. Congratulations to Kendall and Jennifer, and thank you for volunteering to serve on the council. A complete list of GO-MT advisory council appointments is available on the Governor's website
 
Date: 1/16/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: Gallatin Valley Land Trust
Summary: Day 2 of 12 Land Trusts in 12 Phrases in 12 Days: Gallatin Valley Land Trust - Trails and Conservation. Outside is in. Take the long view. Main Street to the Mountains. Working Farms and Ranches. Peets Hill. Rocky Creek Farm. Local Food. Summer Trails Challenge. Bozeman Pass. NextGen. Open spaces for future generations.
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Date: 1/15/2019
Title: 12 Land Trusts / 12 Words or Phrases / 12 Days: The Nature Conservancy in Montana
Summary: The Montana Association of Land Trusts and others are beginning a brief series of social media posts highlighting 12 land trusts in 12 words or phrases over 12 days. The series starts today with The Nature Conservancy in Montana: Science. People and Nature. Freshwater. Matador Grassbank. Montana Forests. Iconic Wildlife. Local Partnerships. Innovation. Crown of the Continent. Northern Great Plains. High Divide Headwaters. More Montana.
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Date: 1/14/2019
Title: Bitter Root Land Trust Working on New Hamilton City Park
Summary: KPAX television news recently checked in with the mayor of Hamilton, the Ravalli County Commission and Bitter Root Land Trust and produced a news segment on the proposed new city park in Hamilton, a 70-acre project that will be a gem for the Bitterroot Valley. The proposed park is firmly placed on Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf's 2019 “to-do“ list, and the news segment termed the new park a “major accomplishment for generations to come.“
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Date: 1/14/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust Helps Conserve North Fork Forestland
Summary: Flathead Land Trust and landowner Molly Shepherd work to conserve 78 acres of North Fork of the Flathead forestland that is home to over 80 migratory bird species and other wildlife. The American Forest Foundation certified the property as a Family Forest in 2014.
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Date: 1/10/2019
Title: Montana Senators Push LWCF Reauthorization
Summary: Some good news yesterday from Congress on the LWCF. Despite ongoing controversies in DC the Land and Water Conservation Fund should be a policy priority. It has been 100 days since the LWCF expired. The LWCF is incredibly important to Montana outdoor recreation, conservation, forest management, and economy.
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Date: 1/9/2019
Title: Peaks to Creaks Project Near Helena Receives County Open Space Funding
Summary: The Lewis and Clark County Commission approved allocating $340,000 of county open space program funding on Jan. 8 to Prickly Pear Land Trust's Peaks to Creeks Initiative west of Helena near Fort Harrison. PPLT purchased two properties totaling 534 acres near the Fort in 2016. PPLT's project benefits the community by restoring riparian areas, wetlands and streamflows on Sevenmile Creek, and by essentially creating a new public park and trails system along Tenmile Creek.
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Date: 1/9/2019
Title: RMEF Seeks Funds for Falls Creek Access Project
Summary: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation made a request to the Lewis and Clark County Commission on Jan. 8 for county open space program funding to help complete the Falls Creek recreational access project near Augusta. RMEF's Mike Mueller presented the project to the commission, which entails purchasing 442 acres from the Barrett Ranch to open up access to more than 26,000 acres of additional public lands. The project was recommended for approval by the open space program's citizens advisory committee. The county commission voiced support for the proposal and opened up a public comment period on the project.
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Date: 1/8/2019
Title: Land Trust Alliance Upcoming Webinars
Summary: The Land Trust Alliance 2019 schedule for webinars is available on the Alliance's website, and the webinars start on Jan. 15 with two sessions; one on Advanced Risk Management and one on Conservation Easement Monitoring. The Alliance website provides the times and dates for the full 2019 webinar sessions, and information about payments, including a 2019 All-Access Pass.
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Date: 1/7/2019
Title: Flathead Land Trust 2018 Conservation Leadership Awards
Summary: Flathead Land Trust's annual FLT Conservation Leadership Awards were presented to Walt Bahr and Don Hauth at a year-end gathering in the Flathead. Bahr served as an early FLT board member and monitoring volunteer. Hauth is also a former FLT board member and monitoring volunteer, and has a conservation easement on his property.
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Date: 1/4/2019
Title: MTFWP Closes Easements That Produce Access and Conservation
Summary: Open space conserved, hunting opportunities expanded, ranch families and ag production maintained. Seems like a pretty good deal.
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Date: 1/3/2019
Title: Five Valleys Land Trust, MTFWP, Work on Access and Conservation
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks are partnering on a 1,200-acre ranch proposed conservation easement near Philipsburg that includes a recreational access component managed by MTFWP. A hearing on the proposed project is set for Jan. 8 in Drummond and the public can comment on the proposal until Jan. 18.
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Date: 1/2/2019
Title: Land Trusts Part of Flathead Lake North Shore Plan
Summary: Conservation projects by the Montana Land Reliance and Flathead Land Trust are part of the proposed North Shore Wildlife Management Area. The new plan identifies objectives for wildlife habitat, weed management, infrastructure, and public recreation throughout the 427-acre the North Shore Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located approximately seven miles southeast of Kalispell. The plan also lists proposed management actions that would help achieve those objectives. The WMA is traditional farmland that features a mix of cultivated grain fields, seasonally flooded grasslands, and wooded uplands along Flathead Lake. Owned and managed by FWP, the property abuts the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 1,887-acre North Shore Waterfowl Production Area, which includes conservation easements held on private land by Montana Land Reliance and Flathead Land Trust.
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