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: 8/21/2018
Title: Montana Land Reliance Speaker Series Features Sandhill Cranes
Summary: The Montana Land Reliance and the WCS Community Partnerships Summer Speaker Series will focus on sandhill cranes on Sept. 4 at the Kelly Ranch near Bozeman. The event starts at 6:00 PM and will include a presentation by Patrick Donnelly of the Intermountain West Joint Venture and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, plus samples from local breweries.
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Date: 8/20/2018
Title: Montana Land Trusts Participate in Congressional Forum
Summary: At the invitation of Montana Senator Steve Daines, the Montana land trust community was front and center during the August 17 Western Congressional Foundation's Summer Western Policy Roundtable discussion in Bozeman. Mark Lambrecht of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mark Aagenes of The Nature Conservancy in Montana, and Glenn Marx of the Montana Association of Land Trusts, all had the opportunity to weigh in on a variety of national natural resource and agricultural policy matters. Other agricultural, timber, mining, federal agency, and conservation voices highlighted natural resource issues, problems, and recommendations. Senator Daines, a co-chair of the congressional Western Caucus Foundation, together with Foundation co-chair Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), led the discussion. Mark at RMEF focused his remarks on elk habitat and forest management, Mark at TNC discussed forest health and creative ways to generate new and expand markets for wood products, and Glenn at MALT focused on the importance of the ALE Program and more specifically on the problems with ALE Management Plans. We appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Roundtable and engage in policy discussions with Caucus members.
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Date: 8/15/2018
Title: Flathead Land Trust Land Celebrates Open Land With August 16 Event
Summary: Flathead Land Trust's "The Land Affair" get-together on August 16 in Whitefish will celebrate and help conserve open spaces and wild places in northwest Montana.
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Date: 8/14/2018
Title: Senator Daines Doubles Down In Support of LWCF
Summary: Montana Senator Steve Daines told a group of land trusts that he was supportive of Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent reauthorization and full funding, and was "doubling down on every possible avenue we have to get this reauthorized before Sept. 30." The LWCF will expire at the end of September unless it is reauthorized. At an event at Helena's Spring Meadow Park, Sen. Daines met with MALT members The Nature Conservancy, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Prickly Pear Land Trust, and voiced his continuing commitment to LWCF reauthorization and funding.
  Read the complete article
 
Date: 8/13/2018
Title: MALT Newsletter Highlights Photo From Wildlands Festival
Summary: The MALT August 13 newsletter contains a photo from the August 10 Wildlands Festival in which two land trusts - The Montana Land Reliance and Gallatin Valley Land Trust - received donations from the Festival producer, Outlaw Partners. The Festival featured performances from Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real, and headliner Robert Earl Keen.
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Date: 8/10/2018
Title: Vital Ground Foundation Maintains Ag Lands and Conserves Habitat
Summary: The Vital Ground Foundation is working along the Rocky Mountain Front to retain agricultural lands, conserve wildlife habitat and reduce conflicts with bears.
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Date: 8/9/2018
Title: Rally Early-Bird Registration Ends August 13
Summary: The 2018 National Land Conservation Conference - aka Rally - is set for Pittsburgh, PA on Oct. 11-13, but early-bird registration incentives end on August 13. Visit the Land Trust Alliance website for complete information about Rally speakers, seminars, workshops, tours, attendees, registration information and more. People and organizations that registration August 13 or before save $90 per registration.
  Read the complete article
 
Date: 8/8/2018
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust NextGen Pedal Parade is Sept. 12
Summary: Gallatin Valley Land Trust wonders if you're ready to gather your favorite homies for a celebration of an amazing summer on the trails! Are you up for spinning around in costume on your jazzed up bike and go for a ride to try and hit all the designated trail stops around town for chances to win outstanding prizes? If so, then the GVLT Sept. 12 NextGen Pedal Parade is for you. Better yet, BBQ and beer await you when your pedaling stops.
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Date: 8/6/2018
Title: August 10 Wildlands Festival Benefits Two Montana Land Trusts
Summary: The Wildlands Festival, a new concert event in Bozeman featuring Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen along with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, benefits The Montana Land Reliance and Gallatin Valley Land Trust. The Festival starts at 5:30 PM on August 10 at the MSU Romney Circle in Bozeman. A limited amount of tickets are still available.
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Date: 8/5/2018
Title: Flathead Land Trust Holds Farmer Field Day
Summary: Flathead Land Trust is one of the participants in the August 8 Farmer Field Day. From the FLT website: Learn about the founding of Earthstar from Chad and Susan Waite and their small-scale agricultural business, get a farm tour, learn from both Flathead Land Trust and Farm Hands about their work in the community and participation in the Great Fish Community Challenge. Earthstar Farm is protected in perpetuity with a conservation easement in partnership with the landowners and Flathead Land Trust. The farm is located at: 314 Little Creek Lane, Whitefish.
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Date: 8/3/2018
Title: MALT Posts UPOM PowerPoint Presentation
Summary: MALT executive director Glenn Marx participated in the United Property Owners of Montana annual meeting held in Billings on August 1-2. His presentation focused on the value of private land conservation to Montana landowners and to the state's efforts to conserve sage grouse habitat. The PowerPoint slides from his presentation are available here.
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Date: 7/26/2018
Title: Trust for Public Land: Story Mill Park is All About Community
Summary: Maddy Pope, The Trust for Public Land project manager for the Story Mill Community Park in Bozeman, writes in a guest column that the project "has been a great learning experience - about the mechanics of park design and construction, but more importantly, about our remarkable Bozeman community."
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Date: 7/24/2018
Title: Sage Grouse Funding Approved for Montana TNC Project
Summary: The Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team (MSGOT) approved state funding to purchase a 15,353 acre conservation easement on ranchlands in Beaverhead County. The Nature Conservancy in Montana has been working with the Hansen Livestock Company and MSGOT on the project since 2016, and this is the second conservation easement to receive final MSGOT approval. MSGOT voted 6-2 to use $952,500 of Montana Sage Grouse Conservation Program funds to purchase the easement, with additional funds coming from the NRCS ALE Program and the Hansen family. The state sage grouse program was created by Governor Bullock and the Montana Legislature in 2015 to conserve sage grouse habitat and populations, and to retain state management authority over the species.
 
Date: 7/23/2018
Title: Kaniksu Land Trust Offers A Walk in Pine Street Woods
Summary: Kaniksu Land Trust is offering guided walks through Pine Street Woods on July 28, August 11, and August 25.
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Date: 7/22/2018
Title: TPL Reaches Full $16.1 Million to Complete Story Mill Community Park
Summary: The Trust for Public Land announced it has surpassed the $16.1 million fundraising goal to complete the Story Mill Community Park in Bozeman. The Bozeman Chronicle reported TPL raised $11.76 million from more than 450 individual donors, local businesses and foundations. These funds, in addition to the city of Bozeman's $4.5 million investment from the parks and trails bond ensure that construction on the park can continue unimpeded. TPL has been working in partnership with the city to create and design the park since 2012. “From neighbors, to local businesses, to our philanthropic leaders, the vision for creating a 'Central Park' for Bozeman has inspired incredible generosity,“ said Molly Pickall, director of philanthropy for TPL's local Northern Rockies office. “This park is truly being built by and for the Bozeman community.“ The park will total 60 acres, 40 of which are designated as a nature sanctuary. In addition to the pavilions and a lawn space that one would expect, the park will include river access, a climbing boulder, an amphitheater built into the hillside, and a playground designed in collaboration with Bozeman children.
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Date: 7/18/2018
Title: Where Conservation, History and Ranch Legacy Meet
Summary: The Gehring Ranch northwest of Helena, established in 1866 and protected by the Prickly Pear Land Trust conservation easement, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. A July 16 Tom Kuglin feature in the Helena Independent Record includes several past and current Gehring Ranch photos along with a lengthy article detailing the historical aspects of the property. From the article: The Gehring family gathered in celebration over the weekend with friends and historians who spent nearly two years working towards the listing. More than 20 structures needed cataloging and researching, but fortunately the family had kept detailed records of several shifts in agricultural practices on the ranch... Bill (Gehring) also credited Prickly Pear Land Trust Executive Director Mary Hollow, who helped place a conservation easement on the property in 2016 which ensures it will stay open space and largely undeveloped.
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Date: 7/17/2018
Title: Montana TNC Releases Montana Forest News Publication
Summary: The Nature Conservancy in Montana's summer 2018 edition of Montana Forests News contains a wealth of information about TNC's ongoing forestland management activities, including a current draft of a disposition scenario for TNC-held forestlands in the Clearwater-Blackfoot Project area. The publication also contains information about forest restoration and recreation efforts.
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Date: 7/16/2018
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Continues Restoration of Sevenmile Creek
Summary: A July 12 photo series by Helena Independent Record photographer Thom Bridge records Prickly Pear Land Trust's restoration project to relocate fish and return water flows to Sevenmile Creek's original channel.
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Date: 7/13/2018
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Writes About Trails and the Montana Way
Summary: Gallatin Valley Land Trust community trails program manager Matt Marcinek contributed a guest column to the Bozeman Chronicle last week about trails etiquette and the “Montana Way.“ Matt's article opened with “Some of the surest signs of the Gallatin Valley's growth are the crowded trailhead parking lots on a summer day. Our unparalleled access to the outdoors is what makes our valley such a desirable place to live. But, with our trails busier than ever, it's time for a friendly reminder about the “Montana way,“ the unwritten rules of the trail that keep our shared spaces clean, safe and enjoyable for all.“
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Date: 7/11/2018
Title: Land Trusts Chip In to Help Foys to Blacktail Trails Network
Summary: After 17 years, countless volunteer hours and crucial partnerships, Foys to Blacktail Trails nonprofit celebrates first full summer with complete trail network from Herron Park to Blacktail Mountain. As the Flathead Beacon article explains, MALT members The Montana Land Reliance, The Conservation Fund and Flathead Land Trust all contributed to the trails progress and achievements.
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Date: 7/10/2018
Title: Missoula County Commission Okays Open Space Measure for November Ballot
Summary: Missoula County voters will have an opportunity to vote for a $15 million open space bond in November. The Missoula County Commission approved the measure for the ballot by a unanimous commission vote on July 9.
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Date: 7/9/2018
Title: Tickets Still Available for Wildlands Music Festival
Summary: In an effort to celebrate Montana's wild and open spaces and support the non-profits that work to protect them, Outlaw Partners has announced that it will produce the inaugural Wildlands Festival concert at the Romney Oval on the campus of Montana State University on August 10, 2018. The concert will feature dualheadliners, acclaimed singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen and country-rockers Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Montana Land Reliance, and Yellowstone Forever - three nonprofits whose missions align with the festival's ethos. The Wildlands Festival will bring people together who share a love of nature, outdoor recreation, parks, trails, and the enjoyment of what makes Montana special. The event will celebrate the state's wildlands and will be an opportunity for concert-goers to support the spaces that they cherish, while enjoying live music in a picturesque outdoor setting.
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Date: 7/6/2018
Title: Orphan Grizzly Cubs Find New Home Thanks to Land Trust
Summary: The Vital Ground Foundation and a trio of orphaned grizzly cubs got a little help from some friends last week when Vital Ground's board chairman helped facilitate placement of the cubs to a zoo in Quebec, Canada. Vital Ground released the good news on July 5 as timing was running out for the cubs, whose mother was killed by a motor vehicle in early June. Vital Ground board chair Stuart Strahl, who also serves as president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, had posted the cubs' need to a bear-themed message board on the website of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. As a result of that post, the cubs will soon be living in Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Felicien in Quebec, which features large native habitats and only houses animals indigenous to Earth's northern boreal regions. Located in a small town more than 200 miles north of Montreal, the regionally-acclaimed zoo's name translates as “Wild Zoo of Saint-Felicien.“
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Date: 7/5/2018
Title: Montana Land Reliance Holds Confluence Musical Celebration on July 8
Summary: The Montana Land Reliance is sponsoring "Confluence: A Musical Celebration of Montana's Open Space" on July 8 near Bozeman. RSVP's are today today, July 5.
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Date: 7/2/2018
Title: Vital Ground Foundation Receives Grant to Conserve Key Rocky Mountain Front Parcel
Summary: The Vital Ground Foundation works with landowners to conserve key 640-acre parcel of habitat and diminish human-bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front.
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Date: 6/29/2018
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Taps Bond Fund to Conserve Ag Lands
Summary: The county with the fastest growing population in Montana continues to wisely conserve vital open land for agricultural production and wildlife habitat. Gallatin Valley Land Trust obtained $270,000 in Gallatin County open land bond funding to work with the Oliver family to conserve 549 acres of local farmland.
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Date: 6/27/2018
Title: MALT Seeks New ALE Program Coordinator
Summary: The Montana Association of Land Trusts has an immediate job opening for a Montana ALE Program Coordinator. Please see the attached job description for details. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact MALT executive director Glenn Marx.
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Date: 6/26/2018
Title: Senator Tester Receives LWCF Legacy Award June 30 in Missoula
Summary: Montana Senator Jon Tester, a longtime champion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, will receive an LWCF Legacy Award during a ceremony in Missoula on Saturday, June 30. The event takes place at 10:00 AM at Brennan's Wave on the Riverfront Trail, and the public is invited. The LWCF is a national conservation program that has provided millions of dollars in economic and conservation benefits to Montana.
 
Date: 6/25/2018
Title: Missoula's Barmeyer Trail Bolsters Community Trails System
Summary: Thanks in part to Five Valleys Land Trust, Missoula's community trails system keeps getting bigger and better. The new Barmeyer Loop Trail and improved Mount Dean Stone access "offers a wealth of sensory stimuli and an intriguing introduction into what will become a link of accessible trail systems across Missoula's south side."
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Date: 6/24/2018
Title: Bitter Root Land Barn Dance Set for June 30
Summary: It's all systems go for Bitter Root Land Trust's second community barn dance on Saturday, June 30, at the Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch near Stevensville. Last year, to help commemorate BRLT's 20th anniversary, the land trust threw a barn dance that drew around 300 people, and everyone had so much fun they decided to do it again. The Ravalli Republic featured the event in a June 24 article. And the Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch is an ideal spot for the event. “I definitely support the work of the Bitter Root Land Trust,“ Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch owner Steve Peckinpaugh said in the article. “They work really hard to custom fit easements to fit the needs of landowners... I think it's nice to be able to have the venue on an easement where people can see for themselves why it's important to protect these lands.“
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Date: 6/22/2018
Title: Gianforte Cosponsors LWCF Legislation
Summary: Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte is the newest cosponsor of HR 502, legislation that would make the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. The LWCF will expire at the end of September until Congress reauthorizes the program.
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Date: 6/21/2018
Title: Missoula Moving Toward November Open Space and Parks Ballot Measures
Summary: Elected officials within the city of Missoula and Missoula County are working toward possible November 2018 ballot measures that would provide funds for new open space conservation and (for city residents) funds for parks maintenance. The efforts include a $15 million open space bond for the county and a $500,000 mill levy in the city only for ongoing parks maintenance. Key city commission vote coming up on Monday, June 25.
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Date: 6/20/2018
Title: Montana Senators Daines and Tester Rally for LWCF
Summary: Major thanks to Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines for participating in the Land and Water Conservation Fund event today in DC. The LWCF is among the nation's and Montana's top conservation programs. The clock is ticking on program reauthorization.
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Date: 6/19/2018
Title: Major Fundraising Event Nets $125,000 for Pine Street Woods
Summary: Kaniksu Land Trust hosted an event to benefit its Pine Street Woods project on May 31 and raised about $125,000 for the project. KLT has now raised over 85 percent of the funds needed for the land trust's signature community conservation project in Sandpoint.
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Date: 6/18/2018
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Summer Trails Challenge Ends June 22
Summary: As of the morning of June 18, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust Summer Trails Challenge has logged 53,321 miles, toward its 66,000 mile goal. The Summer Trails Challenge is scheduled to end on June 22.
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Date: 6/15/2018
Title: Montana TNC Hires New Sagebrush Conservation Coordinator
Summary: The Nature Conservancy in Montana and southwest Montana conservation partners have hired Sean Claffey as a new Southwest Montana Conservation Coordinator to work on sage grouse and sagebrush conservation issues.
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Date: 6/14/2018
Title: RMEF Will Serve on US Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council
Summary: Blake Henning, chief conservation officer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, has accepted an invitation to serve on the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council. Established on January 9, 2018, the group is tasked with providing the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice about the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities regarding wildlife and habitat conservation.
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Date: 6/12/2018
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Works to Restore Sevenmile Creek
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust is working to improve streamflows, restore native vegetation, improve wildlife habitat and prevent erosion on its Sevenmile Creek property. The 350-acre property, located near the northwest corner of Helena, is part of PPLT's Peaks to Creeks Initiative and is the home of over 100 different species of birds. PPLT acquired the property knowing significant stream and streambank restoration was required.
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Date: 6/11/2018
Title: The Path Less Instagrammed
Summary: The Nature Conservancy offers some thoughts about social media and our interactions with the outdoors.
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Date: 6/8/2018
Title: Tenmile Creek Park in Helena Officially Open
Summary: Helena's new and fun Tenmile Creek Park is now officially open. Prickly Pear Land Trust and project partners have created a real community outdoor asset.
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Date: 6/6/2018
Title: Gallatin County Voters Approve Open Space Mill Levy
Summary: Gallatin County voters strongly approved an open space mill levy ballot measure in last night's election. 62 percent of the voters approved the ballot measure, which will provide roughly $20 million over the next 15 years to fund open space conservation projects. Congratulations to Gallatin Valley Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land, The Montana Land Reliance and everyone who played a role in this successful effort.
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Date: 6/4/2018
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust Sets Summer Trails Schedule
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust has set its summer trails work days and organized hikes. Events include Kid's Hikes and Community Trail Work Days through the middle of September.
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Date: 5/24/2018
Title: New Report Shows Why LWCF Essential to Montana
Summary: The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an valuable program to Montana and Montanans, and a new report - supported by MALT - shows why and how Montanans benefit from the LWCF program.
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Date: 5/23/2018
Title: Impressive Conservation Gains in the Flathead
Summary: The Flathead is one of the highest population growth and fastest economic development areas in Montana, and to help retain open land and traditional agriculture in the area land trusts and others are bringing conservation projects to the finish line.
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Date: 5/22/2018
Title: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Names New President and CEO
Summary: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Board of Directors this week announced Kyle Weaver as the new President and CEO, effective June 30, 2018. “It is a tremendous honor to serve as the leader of the most respected wildlife conservation organization in the country, one that does so much for elk, elk habitat and America's hunting tradition,“ said Weaver. “Moving forward, as a team, we will elevate the delivery of RMEF's mission, including our lands and access work as well as advocating for our hunting heritage.“ Weaver comes to RMEF from a long and successful career with the National Rifle Association, where he rose from an entry level position to ultimately serve as an NRA Officer and Executive Director of General Operations. His oversight included educational, safety and training programs, grassroots fundraising, as well as hunting and conservation programs. He brings extensive experience with board relations, volunteer management and fiscal responsibility and oversight, along with program building and implementation.
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Date: 5/21/2018
Title: LWCF Provides Benefits to Montanans Every Single Day
Summary: Excellent article detailing the many ways in which the LWCF makes Montana a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. It is Montana's week in the national LWCF spotlight, part of a 52-week campaign to highlight the need to fund and reauthorize the LWCF program.
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Date: 5/18/2018
Title: Landowners and Wildlife Relationship Explored Through Photos
Summary: Photographer Louise Johns has taken some stunning photos to capture the relationship between ranchers and wildlife - including predators - in the Yellowstone area. Tom Kuglin of the Helena Independent Record writes an article that explains the fragile nature of the relationship.
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Date: 5/17/2018
Title: Gallatin Open Lands Bike Tour Rides on May 19
Summary: The Gallatin Valley is known for its postcard views, agricultural heritage, and vast recreational opportunities. These are just a few of the myriad of characteristics that make this place so special. Since 1990, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust has worked with willing landowners in order to protect those qualities. This spring, GVLT is hosting an inaugural Open Lands Bike Tour, starting with registration at 9:30 AM on May 19. The event kicks off at Sacajawea Middle School, 3525 S 3rd Avenue.
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Date: 5/16/2018
Title: Open Land Critical for Gallatin County Agriculture
Summary: A guest column written by people involved in Gallatin County agriculture explains why the June 5 open space mill levy in so important to the area's farm and ranch community, legacy and future.
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Date: 5/15/2018
Title: Flathead Land Trust Helps Conserve Key Parcel on North Shore of Flathead Lake
Summary: A 45-acre conservation easement will protect open land and wildlife habitat that provides refuge for some 229 migratory waterbirds, thanks to Flathead Land Trust, landowners David and Linda Kurfess and project funders.
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Date: 5/14/2018
Title: Prickly Pear Land Trust's Don't Fence Me In Trail Run Draws Record Number of Runners
Summary: The May 12 Don't Fence Me In Trail Run drew a record 997 runners and excellent weather to Helena's South Hills trails and open lands. The race is sponsored and organized by Prickly Pear Land Trust.
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Date: 5/11/2018
Title: Carol and Don Roberts Receive William F. Long Award from The Montana Land Reliance
Summary: Congratulations to Carol and Don Roberts, recipients of the William F. Long Award from The Montana Land Reliance. The award recognizes the conservation stewardship commitment demonstrated by the Roberts' on their eastern Montana property. The award specifically salutes landowners who have worked to permanently protect significant bird habitat.
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Date: 5/10/2018
Title: Flathead Land Trust Lake Cruise Coming Up June 28
Summary: Back by popular demand, Flathead Land Trust is partnering with the Flathead Lakers to offer a boat tour on the Far West on Thursday, June 28, from 6:00 - 9:00 PM. Participants will be able to spend an evening celebrating the incredible conservation of the North Shore of Flathead Lake, and help with a new conservation project with a live on-boat fundraiser. The tour will offer complimentary appetizers from Somers Bay Cafe and a no host bar.
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Date: 5/9/2018
Title: Bitter Root Land Trust Barn Dance Set for June 30
Summary: Bitter Root Land Trust is having a barn dance. From BRLT's website: "Bitter Root Land Trust welcomes you to Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch in Stevensville! Come celebrate the local conservation you're making possible at Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch on Saturday, June 30th. See for yourself what it means to conserve a ranch, for generations to come. At the Barn Dance you'll find curious cows, friendly horses, green pastures and meet a wonderful couple who believe in the positive impact that conservation has on our community. Steve and Catherine Peckinpaugh are delighted to welcome you to Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch in Stevensville. Tour the recently conserved Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch, grab an ice-cold drink and venture down the kids' fishing hole on the creek at this family-friendly casual community event." Tickets are on sale now.
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Date: 5/8/2018
Title: Poll Shows Strong Montana Support for LWCF
Summary: A new poll shows 76 percent of Montanans support the Land and Water Conservation Fund, while only 13 percent oppose the program. The poll, conducted in mid-April 2018, shows strong bipartisan support for the LWCF and for overall Montana conservation initiatives. The LWCF funds outdoor recreation, forest management, agricultural conservation, wildlife habitat protection and more.
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Date: 5/7/2018
Title: Funding in Place for 13,400-Acre Whitefish Conservation Project
Summary: A combination of state, private and federal funding programs have been solidified to complete the 13,400-acre forest conservation project near Whitefish that produces benefits to forest health, the local economy, outdoor recreation, conservation of wildlife habitat and more. The Trust for Public Land was the catalyst for the project and a project leader.
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Date: 5/4/2018
Title: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Kicks Off 2018 Discovery Walks
Summary: Among the many activities Gallatin Valley Land Trust is planning this summer is its Discovery Walks program, which helps introduce people to the community's extensive local trail system. A complete listing of an amazing 38 different trail walks and experiences (most in May and June) is available on the GVLT website. The 2018 Discovery Walks effort gets underway May 6 with a focus on the “wild world of insects.“
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Date: 5/1/2018
Title: Whitefish Trail Grand Opening Event on May 1
Summary: The Trust for Public Land, Whitefish Legacy Partners and many others will celebrate the grand opening of the Whitefish Trail with an event beginning at 6:00 PM at 353 Reservoir Road.
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Date: 4/30/2018
Title: Wildlands Festival Will Benefit Two Montana Land Trusts
Summary: Robert Earl Keen and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are headlining the first Wildlands Festival, set for August 10 outdoors at the MSU campus in Bozeman. Partial proceeds will benefit Gallatin Valley Land Trust and The Montana Land Reliance. Tickets are on sale now.
  Read the complete article
 
Date: 4/29/2018
Title: Five Valleys Land Trust Helps With River Access
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust led a group of volunteers on April 27 to clean up a now closed, once heavily used, access point to the Bitterroot River in Missoula. The Missoulian article highlights the efforts by FVLT and others on the Buckhouse Bridge access site, which is located on private land and had been closed by the landowner because of “erosion, garbage and surface damage“ concerns. “The existing public use was causing damage to the site, and so the landowner was forced to temporarily shut it down,“ explained Ryan Chapin, the stewardship director for the nonprofit Five Valleys Land Trust. “There was a lot of garbage and the parking area was being misused. But the landowner does want to provide permanent access to the Bitterroot River across his property, so the Five Valleys Land Trust is working with government agencies to provide a well-designed access.“
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Date: 4/27/2018
Title: Land Trust and FWP Seek to Connect Helena Trails
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks are working to link the Centennial Trail with Spring Meadow Lake State Park, which would connect trails and recreation areas, including PPLT's Ten Mile Creek Park near Fort Harrison.
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Date: 4/26/2018
Title: Gallatin County Losing Open Space at Alarming Rate
Summary: Gallatin County saw 93,000 acres of open space lost to residential lots between 1990 and 2016, and the number of homes in the county more than doubled, from 11,000 to a total of 29,000 during that same period, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. That growth helps demonstrate why the proposed June 5 mill levy open space vote in Gallatin County is so important to the area's economy, quality of life and conservation of the Gallatin Valley's agricultural traditions, say open space supporters.
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Date: 4/25/2018
Title: Tester, Daines Support LWCF Funding
Summary: Thank you to Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester for signing a Dear Colleague Letter urging funding support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Forest Legacy Program in FY19. Great to see the Montana Congressional Delegation's support of the economic, outdoor recreation, rural community, conservation and forest management benefits of these programs.
 
Date: 4/23/2018
Title: Montana Neighbor Awards Nominations Due May 25
Summary: Do you know a landowner who is an outstanding neighbor? Someone who takes good care of the land for production and wildlife values, who enables neighborly recreational access, and is actively engaged in their community in working to solve problems? If so, the Montana Neighbor Awards wants to hear about it! They want to give such “good neighbors“ the recognition they deserve. The Montana Neighbor Awards is a working group including Montana Association of Land Trusts, Montana Farm Bureau, Artemis Common Ground, The Nature Conservancy of Montana, Montana Council of Trout Unlimited, and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. In 2016, four Montana Neighbor Awards were presented to leading ranching and farming families across Montana. Awards are based on four criteria, including Cooperation, Land Stewardship/Conservation Ethic, Neighborly Land Access, and Community Leadership. Deadline for nominations is May 25.
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Date: 4/20/2018
Title: TNC Annual Matador Ranch Science and Land Management Symposium Set for June 13
Summary: The 8th Annual Matador Ranch Science and Land Management Symposium will be held on Wednesday, June 13th from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, at the Matador Ranch in north central Montana. The symposium is an opportunity to engage researchers and land managers (private landowners, agency, and non-profit). Presentations are focused on current or recently research, 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. Lunch will be provided. Please contact Jolynn K Messerly, Matador Ranch Operations Administrator, at jmesserly@tnc.org, (406) 673-3344 (Office) or (406) 945-0378 (Cell), with questions or to RSVP.
 
Date: 4/19/2018
Title: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Salutes Volunteers
Summary: National Volunteer Day is April 20, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is saluting its volunteers for their time, energy, work and talents. RMEF calculates that in 2017, volunteers donated over $21 million in value to conservation. “We have a profound gratitude for our volunteers who give so much of their time, talents and energy on behalf of RMEF,“ said Nancy Holland, RMEF president and CEO. “They constantly go above and beyond in helping to further our shared conservation mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.“
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Date: 4/18/2018
Title: Senator Daines Voices Strong Support for LWCF
Summary: Shout out to Montana Senator Steve Daines for his strong Land and Water Conservation Fund endorsement yesterday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The LWCF benefits Montana's economy, outdoor recreation, forest management, and much more. MALT thanks Senator Daines for LWCF support.
 
Date: 4/17/2018
Title: Kaniksu Land Trust Celebrates Cinco de Mayo and Conservation on May 5
Summary: Kaniksu Land Trust is the beneficiary of Leadership Sandpoint's Cinco de Mayo fundraising celebration on May 5 at Trinity at City Beach in Sandpoint. Proceeds from the event benefit KLT's Pine Street Woods community conservation project, KLT's major endeavor to purchase 160 acres of woodland near Sandpoint to benefit the community. The May 5 Cinco de Mayo event features live music, auction, raffles, taco bar, games and drinks!
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Date: 4/16/2018
Title: Five Valleys Land Trust Helps With River Access, Clean-Up
Summary: You can help reopen access to the Bitterroot River. The folks at Five Valleys Land Trusts are helping lead an effort to clean up and reopen the popular Buckhouse Bridge on the Bitterroot River. An access point at the Buckhouse Bridge was recently closed by a landowner due to misuse of the property. A river clean-up is set for April 29 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and the FVLT website has more information about signing up and other event details.
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Date: 4/13/2018
Title: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announce Montana Grasslands Grants
Summary: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced several funding awards through its Northern Great Plains Program in eastern Montana designed to maintain and improve grasslands habitats and connectivity. The Helena Independent Record article provides details on the grants, which will work with landowners to help fund grasslands and range stewardship projects by The Montana Land Reliance and The Nature Conservancy in Montana, in addition to the Bureau of Land Management and the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance.
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Date: 4/11/2018
Title: Story Mill Park Will Be Bozeman Flagship Community Park
Summary: The Trust for Public Land reports construction is now underway on Bozeman's Story Mill Community Park, and when completed the park will offer "a natural amphitheater that can seat up to 200 people next to a 40-foot-long climbing wall; a path that winds along the East Gallatin River and opens to a 40-acre nature sanctuary; a space that can act as grounds for summer festivals or a quiet spot for afternoon walks; and a trail through a food forest that leads to a garden."
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Date: 4/10/2018
Title: MALT Farm Bill Team and NRCS Meet April 12 in Bozeman
Summary: The MALT Farm Bill Team and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will hold a partnership meeting on Thursday, April 12, in Bozeman. MALT, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and landowners team up with the NRCS on projects through the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) Program, and the NRCS, Ducks Unlimited and landowners team up on the Wetlands Reserve Easement (WRE) Program. The meeting will start at 10:00 AM at the USDA Rural Development conference room located at 2229 Boot Hill Court in Bozeman. ALE Program Coordinator Alan Davis distributed a meeting agenda in an April 5 email. Video teleconference facilities are available in Missoula and Kalispell. The ALE Program has been in transition since the departure of Lisa McCauley and Lisa Coverdale in October 2017, and the NRCS is dedicating new resources and personnel to the Montana program to help close pending projects. The transition has been challenging, however, and the April 12 meeting will give land trusts and the NRCS an opportunity to discuss issues and options for progress.
 
Date: 4/9/2018
Title: Open Space Advisory Committee Unanimously Approves Peaks to Creeks Initiative
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust's Peaks to Creeks community conservation proposal has been unanimously approved by the Lewis and Clark County Open Space Citizen Advisory Committee. Great project for the Helena community. The county commission will consider the project within the next few weeks.
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Date: 4/6/2018
Title: Study: Montana Has Lost 1.3 Million Acres of Open Land Since 1990
Summary: Since 1990 Montana reportedly lost 1.3 million acres of open land to development. That's one reason why conservation of open land is so important.
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Date: 4/4/2018
Title: Alliance Continues Efforts to Halt Conservation Easement Syndication
Summary: The Land Trust Alliance released a new statement on efforts to stem the syndication of conservation easement tax benefits: "Terms like 'syndicated easements' and 'monetized easements' probably aren't part of your vocabulary. And there's a good reason for that. These transactions and their profit motive have been denounced by the IRS, members of Congress and experts in our field. But these problematic transactions are growing in prominence and drawing IRS and media scrutiny. Land trusts all across the United States are now being asked to join deals that threaten the work of land trusts in our region and harm the reputation of our community. This issue is complex. But the bottom line is simple: These abuses are wrong. These abuses cheat taxpayers and the government. And these abuses invite scorn and sanctions that could undermine the land trust community's ability to serve the public good. To steer clear of any potential problems, please read and follow the Land Trust Alliance's guidance on this issue (See link below). Questions can be directed to Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Director Leslie Ratley-Beach at lrbeach@lta.org.
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Date: 4/3/2018
Title: Land Trust Alliance Has Six April Webinars on Tap for Land Trusts
Summary: The Land Trust Alliance is sponsoring six webinars - starting April 12 with a session on conservation easement stewardship - during the month of April.
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Date: 4/2/2018
Title: FVLT Spring Banquet Tickets Go On Sale Today
Summary: If you plan on attending the Five Valleys Land Trust 24th Annual Banquet and Auction you better act soon, because the event typically sells out and sells out quick. The event is set for May 19 at the UC Ballroom on the UM Campus in Missoula, but tickets are available starting April 2. Festivities on May 19 get underway at 5:30 PM and the event features a live and silent auction, music by Tom Catmull, a great dinner, and “the opportunity to meet and mingle with others who care about this extraordinary place.“
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Date: 3/30/2018
Title: Open Land Plays Role in Missoula County Planning
Summary: As Missoula County plans its future, a newspaper article discusses the "homes there, farms there, factories there" planning efforts in which land trusts and open lands play a key role.
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Date: 3/29/2018
Title: Ties to the Land Workshop Set for April 28
Summary: Succession planning is important for long-term forest and ranch management, and is critical for family financial planning. A Ties to the Land Workshop will be held in Helena on April 28, conducted by experienced presenters who provide excellent information on how and why do conduct family succession planning.
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Date: 3/28/2018
Title: Montana TNC Helps Conserve the Land of Grass
Summary: The Nature Conservancy in Montana highlights the organization's work with landowners in eastern Montana near Bitter Creek. TNC reports that "Thanks to the quality and the extent of grass, this is an area that supports grassland plants and animals in an abundance unrivaled elsewhere. It contains grassland types that have largely been put to the plow. Deep soils that grow spring wheat and lentils elsewhere, here are home to America's largest populations of Baird's sparrow and Sprague's pipits, which sing and flit among the wildflowers and porcupine grass."
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Date: 3/26/2018
Title: Registration Open for PPLT Don't Fence Me In Trail Run
Summary: One of Montana's premier trail running events, the Prickly Pear Land Trust Don't Fence Me In Trail In, will take place on May 12 on Helena's trails. Registration is open now.
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Date: 3/25/2018
Title: Amazing Return on Investment for Gallatin County Open Land Program
Summary: Former Bozeman Mayor Jeff Krause writes in a Bozeman Daily Chronicle guest column that the return on investment for the county's open space has been 500 percent, enough to "make Warren Buffet blush." Gallatin County voters will be voting on a June 5 open space mill levy ballot measure.
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Date: 3/23/2018
Title: High Divide Workshop Coming Up April 18-19
Summary: The 2018 High Divide Workshop is set for April 18-19 at the Lewis & Clark Room at UM Western campus in Dillon, Montana. The theme for the workshop is "Drought Resilience - Forests and Fire Wildlife Connectivity and Conflict Resolution." The draft agenda shows workshop sessions on: WILDLIFE CONNECTIVITY & CONFLICT REDUCTION SESSION, FORESTS AND FIRE SESSION, and DROUGHT RESILIENCE SESSION. For more information contact JoAnn Grant of Heart of the Rockies at joann@heart-of-rockies.org, or 406-640-2816.
 
Date: 3/22/2018
Title: License Plate Dollars Help Conserve Bitterroot Valley Ag Lands
Summary: License plate donations to the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge - in turn donated to Bitter Root Land Trust - are helping area farmers and ranchers conserve key lands in the Burnt Fork drainage.
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Date: 3/16/2018
Title: MALT Helps Sponsor Ties to the Land Workshop
Summary: Forest health and family succession of private forestland are key topics in the upcoming Ties to the Land Workshop, sponsored by the Montana Forest Stewardship Foundation and the Montana Association of Land Trusts.
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Date: 3/14/2018
Title: Kaniksu Land Trust Celebrates Ospreys
Summary: Kaniksu Land Trust is sponsoring a presentation on March 16 in Sandpoint titled "The Ospreys of North Idaho," featuring a presentation by Dr. Wayne Melquist. The event features two showings - 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM - at the Little Panida Theatre, with meet and greets set for 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Dr. Melquist has studied ospreys for 45 years. Tickets for the event are $5 and are on sale now.
 
Date: 3/12/2018
Title: GVLT Receives Conservation District Stewardship Award
Summary: Gallatin Valley Land Trust was named the recipient of the Bill Wright Conservation Award in Land Stewardship by the Gallatin Conservation District on March 9. In a Facebook post, GVLT wrote: THANK YOU for this incredible honor. We are humbled to work alongside our valley's farmers and ranchers, exceptional stewards of our open lands.
 
Date: 3/8/2018
Title: FWP Commission Expected to Vote on Sandhill Cranes Project in April
Summary: The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will be one of the final steps for Flathead Land Trust's West Valley Wetlands Project, a project that would conserve key sandhill crane habitat and provide access for viewing and educational experiences as well. The commission meets April 19 in Livingston. A Missoulian article touted the work done by FLT and partners to bring the proposal to the commission, and highlighted the wildlife, wetland, agricultural, wildlife viewing and educational opportunities associated with the project. The $1.4 million project is complex, with diverse funding sources and specific goals for project outcomes from some of those sources.
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Date: 3/7/2018
Title: Gallatin County Commission Gives Final Approval for June Open Land Mill Levy
Summary: Gallatin County Commissioners voted unanimously on March 6 to place an open space mill levy on the June 2018 ballot. That means voters will have an opportunity to approve the levy, which if passed would provide approximately $20 million over a 15-year period for county open land conservation and Regional Park improvements.
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Date: 3/5/2018
Title: Study Shows Broad Use of Helena Community Trails and $4 Million Economic Boost
Summary: A 2017 survey by the Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research shows 63,000 hikers, runners, and bikers recreated on Helena's South Trails in 2017. The report, released through Prickly Pear Land Trust last week, also shows users of the trails spent over $4 million in the local area in the summer of 2017. “PPLT strives for bettering quality of life benchmarks and this real-time data provides important information to assist in our planning and understanding of the economic and social impacts of our South Hills land acquisition and trails work,“ said PPLT executive director Mary Hollow. “It was wonderful to see the high values placed on our work in building the South Hills land estate and establishing and maintaining the trails system with the city of Helena and U.S. Forest Service over the years.“
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Date: 3/2/2018
Title: Gazette Opinion: Ranchers, Public Win with Horse Creek Easement
Summary: The Billings Gazette strongly endorsed a proposed eastern Montana conservation easement by MT FWP that would generate hunter access, conserve wildlife habitat, retain agricultural production and protect property rights. The editorial strongly encourages the Montana Land Board to approve the easement at its March meeting. MALT testified in support of the easement at the February Land Board meeting.
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Date: 3/1/2018
Title: These Snails Even Run in Winter
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust in Helena has organized a friendly group of trail runners who run each Tuesday at noon, and they call themselves the Happy Snails.
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Date: 2/28/2018
Title: Gallatin County Commissioners Advance Open Space Ballot Measure
Summary: Gallatin County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution on Feb. 27 that recommends a mill levy go on the June 2018 primary ballot to fund the county's open space program and pay for some work at the Gallatin County Regional Park. The commission will hold a final vote on the ballot language at its meeting next week. Montana land trusts have been advocating for the June open spave ballot measure, which if passed would provide close to $20 million over a 15-year period.
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Date: 2/26/2018
Title: Bitter Root Land Trust Helping Expand Hamilton City Park
Summary: The Bitter Root Land Trust is working with the city of Hamilton and others to create "an incredible community asset for a long, long time.“
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Date: 2/23/2018
Title: Gallatin County Seeking to Balance Conservation and Growth
Summary: “This valley is going to keep on growing, the wave is coming, we're not here to stop it,“ said Mark Kehke, board president of Gallatin Valley Land Trust. He said partnerships with the community, city and county could help direct where growth happens, “or maybe, more importantly, where growth doesn't happen.“
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Date: 2/22/2018
Title: Montana TNC Featured at Forest Landowner Conference

Summary: Steve Kloetzel and Chris Bryant of The Nature Conservancy in Montana are featured presenters at the Ninth Annual Forest Landowner Conference, set for the Helena Radisson Colonial Hotel on Friday, April 27. The conference is sponsored by the Montana Forest Stewardship Foundation and Northwest Management, Inc. The conference theme is "Becoming the Best Forest Steward Possible" and starts at 8:30 am. At 8:45 am, Steve and Chris will present during the opening session and discuss TNC's forest properties and forest management objectives.
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  Read the complete article
 
Date: 2/21/2018
Title: Land Board Delays Vote on Eastern Montana Conservation Easement
Summary: Proposed conservation easement offers wildlife habitat, agricultural stability, abundant hunting and recreational access, and legal opportunity for oil and gas production. The Montana Association of Land Trusts is a proponent of the proposal.
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Date: 2/20/2018
Title: Land Trusts Seek Levy for Gallatin Valley Open Land
Summary: After months of discussions, research and planning with local officials, Gallatin County land trusts are advocating an open land levy vote in June, a move supported by the Gallatin County Commission.
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Date: 2/19/2018
Title: TPL Helps Orchestrate Whitefish Forest Project
Summary: The Trust for Public Land, two state agencies, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Weyerhaeuser have teamed up to conserve over 7,000 acres of forestland near Whitefish in northwest Montana. The Flathead Beacon reported that the complex transaction called for TPL to purchase the land from Weyerhaeuser, and after the fee title purchase, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks purchased a conservation easement on the property that allows for sustainable forest management of the property. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation closed purchase of the land on Feb. 15, and will manage it as part of the Stillwater State Forest. Montana's two senators support the deal. Listing its benefits, Sen. Jon Tester called it a “win-win-win-win-win.“ Sen. Steve Daines said, “It's good to see federal, state and private partners come together to protect public access and timber management.“
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Date: 2/18/2018
Title: FVLT Receives Funds for Potomac Conservation
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust, the NRCS, the Missoula County Commission and county Open Space Program have successfully worked with the Hayes family to conserve 569 acres of historical ranch ground near Potomac. Lee Newspapers featured the county's funding approval for the project and the historical and agricultural value of the property in its Feb. 18 editions. “The working landscape with 94 percent important agricultural soils includes grassland, forest and wetland habitats that connect with other private, protected lands,“ said Vickie Edwards, Five Valleys conservation projects manager. “This easement exemplifies that voluntary, private land conservation and conservation easements are effective tools in conserving important agricultural soils in Missoula County.“
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Date: 2/16/2018
Title: Senator Daines Works With Alliance, Introduces Syndication Legislation
Summary: Senator Steve Daines has been working with the Land Trust Alliance leadership on a Senate version of H.R. 4459, The Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act of 2917, and on Feb. 16 the Senator introduced S. 2436. The essentially identical bills seek to address the issue of conservation easement “syndication“ by: 1) Stopping those who would abuse a charitable incentive for profit, while 2) Continuing to reward honest philanthropy. MALT Board President Gavin Ricklefs sent individual letters to all three members of the Montana Congressional Delegation expressing MALT's appreciation for Sen. Daines' sponsorship and voicing land trust support for the legislation. In his letter, Gavin writes that, “We cannot afford to lose public support for this important conservation tool that you helped put into place to recognize and reward true charity. Previous attempts by the IRS and the conservation community to halt these abusive transactions have been unsuccessful. That's where the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act comes in. It will continue to reward honest philanthropy and stop those who would abuse a charitable incentive for profit. This bill is straightforward and narrowly drafted, and it takes care to create an important exception for family partnerships.“ A copy the MALT's letter to Senator Daines is attached. In an Alliance press release, Alliance President Andrew Bowman said, “These bipartisan bills would prevent abuse while ensuring the vast majority of conservation easements can continue to go forward as truly charitable endeavors. On behalf of the Alliance's 1,000 member land trusts, I applaud Sen. Daines, Sen. Stabenow, Rep. Thompson and Rep. Kelly for their leadership on this urgent issue.“
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  Read the complete article
 
Date: 2/15/2018
Title: Flathead Land Trust, Park Side Credit Union in Partners Program
Summary: Flathead Land Trust announced it has been selected by Park Side Credit Union to be part of the Park Side Partner Program in 2018. Two other Flathead nonprofits partnering with Park Side Credit Union are the Nate Chute Foundation and Kalispell HEART Program. FLT reports the unique, innovative campaign is in its seventh year and Park Side has donated more than $150,000 to over thirty nonprofit organizations through the Partner Program. “Our objective is to create an unparalleled network of collaboration within and among the nonprofit sector, and the credit union couldn't be happier to facilitate such an achievement“ says Josh Kroll, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Park Side.
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Date: 2/14/2018
Title: Montana TNC Working to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat
Summary: The Nature Conservancy in Montana is working with the Montana Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program and the Hansen Ranch near Dillon to conserve 13,810 acres of critical sage grouse habitat. Comments on are the proposal are being accepted until March 14.
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Date: 2/13/2018
Title: Land Trust Stewards Gather at Rock Creek
Summary: A large group of land trust conservation easement stewards met recently to exchange information about their roles and their work within the world of Montana private land conservation. An article in the MALT newsletter contains a photo and more information about the meeting, which took place at Five Valley Land Trust's Confluence Property. Stewards work with landowners and help organizations monitor and enforce conservation easements.
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Date: 2/9/2018
Title: Vital Ground Foundation Debuts New Logo
Summary: The Vital Ground Foundation, a nonprofit land trust based in Missoula and focused on grizzly bear conservation, has a new logo. The new logo features artist Monte Dolack's walking grizzly from “The Great Bear.“
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Date: 2/8/2018
Title: Missoula Open Land Program Looks to Conserve Potomac Ranch
Summary: The Missoula County Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program is gathering information about the benefits of the program, and is also examining a proposal to help fund conservation of a 596-acre ranch in the Potomac area. From the Missoulian article: “This project would conserve working lands as well as wildlife habitat and open space,“ said Kali Becher, the natural resource specialist for the county's Parks, Trails and Open Lands program. “There is a small wetland area in the lower portions of the ranch. It's currently undeveloped land and contains a lot of agricultural land and valuable timber land." The easement is being coordinated by the Five Valleys Land Trust.
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Date: 2/7/2018
Title: 2018 Farm Bill Key to Sage Grouse Conservation
Summary: Jeff Laszlo, of the Western Landowners Alliance, writes in op-ed about sage grouse conservation: It's now time for landowners, producers and rural communities to contact their representatives in Washington, D.C., and ask for strong support of Farm Bill conservation programs. Taking on shared challenges like species conservation and recovery increasingly requires that we look beyond geographic, political and jurisdictional boundaries to achieve the enduring outcomes that everyone desires.“
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Date: 2/5/2018
Title: MALT Recognizes Out West Funding in New Report
Summary: The Montana Association of Land Trusts has released a report for The Laundress and John Mayer recognizing their efforts in support of Montana private land conservation. The five-page report was sent to John Mayer and The Laundress on Feb. 1 and highlights the valuable work of Montana's land trusts for Montana's economy, landscape, outdoor recreation and communities.
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Date: 2/1/2018
Title: President Trump Signs Alex Diekmann Peak Bill
Summary: President Donald Trump on Jan. 31 signed legislation introduced and supported by the Montana Congressional Delegation to name a Madison Mountain Range peak in honor of land trust community leader Alex Diekmann. Alex was a conservation project specialist with The Trust for Public Land based in Bozeman and worked throughout the state to make Montana a better place. Two years ago today Alex lost his battle with cancer. MALT extends a sincere thank you to Senator Steve Daines, Senator John Tester, Congressman Greg Gianforte, Alan Front of Conservation Pathways, and everyone who made this achievement possible.
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Date: 1/31/2018
Title: Billings Gazette: We Are a Conservationist State
Summary: The Jan. 30 Billings Gazette editorial based on the eighth annual Colorado College “Conservation in the West“ poll ends with this statement: Eighty-two percent of Montanans call themselves conservationists, a larger proportion than ever before in the Colorado Poll. All members of our congressional delegation should consider that viewpoint.
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Date: 1/30/2018
Title: Five Valleys Land Trust Helps Conserve Jocko Valley Land
Summary: Five Valleys Land Trust has worked with landowners Elon Gilbert and Susie Miller to conserve 155 acres of prime agricultural lands in the Jocko Valley. Susie Miller and Elon Gilbert have stewarded the land here for over 20 years. The Miller-Gilbert-Jocko conservation easement is bordered by protected or Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal lands, increasing its conservation value and providing habitat connectivity for the area's vibrant wildlife, including eagles, black bears and grizzly bears. The land has long been used for agriculture and the National Resource Conservation Service deems 90% of the land as Prime if Irrigated.
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Date: 1/29/2018
Title: Public Funding for Parks and Trails a Major Plus for Bozeman
Summary: The Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Jan. 28 editorial touts the benefits of the voter-approved $15 million measure that passed in 2012 ... community walking trails, Story Mill Community Park, soccer fields, new dog park, and creek restored to its natural course. The editorial ends with: "Many years from now, Bozemanites will look back with gratitude to all who have participated in this extraordinarily successful effort."
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Date: 1/26/2018
Title: Poll Shows Montana Support for Conservation
Summary: From the eighth annual Colorado College “Conservation in the West“ poll: "In state-by-state reviews, Montana topped that list with 82 percent self-identifying as conservationist."
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Date: 1/25/2018
Title: PPLT's Lanie White Featured Montana Treasures Video
Summary: Prickly Pear Land Trust's Lanie White is featured in Freehub Magazine's Montana Treasures short video on mountain biking, freedom, and empowerment. In the fall of 2017, FreeHub Magazine released a series called "Montana Treasures". This project features a selection of individuals within Montana's mountain bike community "who are constantly striving to progress the sport", whether it be through trail advocacy, trail building, land management, retail, or in other ways. Featured here is local rider, Prickly Pear Land Trust employee, and Girls Thrive volunteer Lanie White and her story of empowerment and freedom on the bike.
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Date: 1/24/2018
Title: USDA Secretary Perdue Releases 2018 Farm Bill Priorities
Summary: Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has released USDA's 2018 Farm Bill policy goals and priorities. Two of the stated priorities are: 1) Ensure that voluntary conservation programs balance farm productivity with conservation benefits so the most fertile and productive lands remain in production while land retired for conservation purposes favor more environmentally sensitive acres. 2) Support conservation programs that ensure cost-effective financial assistance for improved soil health, water and air quality and other natural resource benefits.
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Date: 1/23/2018
Title: RMEF Membership Soars Above 227,650 Members
Summary: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's membership grew for the ninth straight year to a new total of 227,650 members, a 50 percent increase since 2008.
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Date: 1/22/2018
Title: Time to Renew Commitment to Gallatin County Open Lands
Summary: Kris Kumlien, president of the Madison-Gallatin Chapter of Trout Unlimited, writes in a Bozeman Daily Chronicle guest column that the Gallatin County open space programs have been valuable for local residents and the local economy. "The Gallatin County Open Lands Program has a proven track record of success, but funds for the program have all been expended. It's time to renew our commitment to this program and our future. Doing so will ensure we afford our children and grandchildren the same opportunities I enjoyed as a kid growing up in this special place."
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Date: 1/19/2018
Title: Forest Stewardship Workshop Coming Up April 9-11
Summary: Land trust field staff field staff (land trust stewardship and agency field staff) who work with private forest land owners are invited to register for a Forest Stewardship Workshop for Professionals, set for April 9-11 at the UM Lumbrecht Experimental Forest. The bulk of the seminar will focus on familiarizing attendees with the elements of stewardship plans and reviewing the skills needed to produce one. Ryan Lutey of The Vital Ground Foundation will be discussing how Vital Ground integrates forest stewardship/management in its easements, specifically emphasizing the function and utility of forest stewardship plans in the long-term process of monitoring and enforcing easements. See the brochure for more details. The three-day workshop is provided at a pretty amazing rate of $110 thanks to significant underwriting from The Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and MSU Extension.
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Date: 1/18/2018
Title: Montana TNC Serves on New Parks in Focus Commission
Summary: Governor Steve Bullock announced the formation of a new Parks in Focus Commission, a group tasked with strengthening and funding Montana's State Parks system. The effort will involve some members of the land trust community: Mark Aagenes, director of external affairs for The Nature Conservancy in Montana will serve on the commission, and Deb Love (former Trust for Public Land director) is an advisor and coordinator for the effort.
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Date: 1/17/2018
Title: Alex Diekmann Peak Legislation Passes House
Summary: The proposal to name an unnamed Madison Mountain Range peak after Alex Diekmann passed the House on Jan. 16 by a 400-3 vote. Next stop is the President's desk! See the link and watch Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte introduce the bill on the House floor. Alex lost his battle with cancer on Feb. 1, 2016.
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Date: 1/16/2018
Title: On the Shoulders of Giants Now Available Online
Summary: The Montana Association of Land Trusts film "On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of Montana Private Land Conservation" is now broadly available for online viewing. The MALT film, produced in 2016, tells the story of Montana's private land conservation pioneers and leaders, and about the value and benefits that flow to Montana's economy, outdoor recreation, conservation, agriculture, and way of life from the work of Montana's land trusts and landowners. The Eric Ian film has been widely acclaimed after showings throughout Montana and across the country.
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Date: 1/15/2018
Title: RMEF Wildlife Leadership Awards Open Through March 1
Summary: The application window for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 2018 Wildlife Leadership Award (WLA) scholarships is now open through March 1. The WLA scholarship program was established in 1991 to "recognize, encourage and promote leadership among future wildlife management professionals." The scholarships are awarded to undergraduate wildlife students, and carry a $3,000 scholarship and one-year membership to RMEF. All qualifications and application procedures are outlined on the RMEF website.
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Date: 1/14/2018
Title: Kaniksu Land Trust Nears Fundraising Goal for Pine Street Woods
Summary: A Sandpoint Reader newspaper article reports on Kaniksu Land Trust's successful fundraising efforts to create the Pine Street Woods Community Forest. KLT has raised 75 percent of the project's $2.1 million goal.
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Date: 1/12/2018
Title: Montana Land Reliance Greater Yellowstone Ag Forum Set for Feb. 7
Summary: The Montana Land Reliance is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Greater Yellowstone Agricultural Forum on Feb. 7, with doors opening at 9:00 AM, at The Gathering Place at the Lewis & Clark in Three Forks. Forum topics include invasive species, biocontrol of weeds, use of livestock to control weeds, and more. Additional speakers will provide information about their programs and services. For more information contact Kathryn Kelly of MLR at 579-5481 or kathryn@mtlandreliance.org.
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Date: 1/11/2018
Title: Alex Diekmann Peak Legislation Passes House Committee
Summary: Another major step toward the creation of Alex Diekmann Peak: The House Natural Resources Committee passed the Alex Diekmann Designation Act of 2017 on Jan. 10, and the bill will be headed to the House floor for action. The bill, sponsored by Senator Steve Daines and strongly supported by Senator Jon Tester and Congressman Greg Gianforte, has already passed the Senate. A Bozeman Chronicle article reports on passage of the bill and contains quotes of support from all three members of the Montana Congressional Delegation.
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Date: 1/10/2018
Title: Vital Ground and Partners Help Reduce Bear and People Conflicts
Summary: In addition to operating as a land trust in the northern Rocky Mountains, The Vital Ground Foundation also funds conservation partners that work to reduce conflicts between bears and people. Last year, Vital Ground's Conservation Partners Grant Program was extended to Mission, Madison and Big Hole valleys.
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Date: 1/9/2018
Title: FVLT, NRCS Partner-Up for Ag Conservation
Summary: Done deal: Five Valleys Land Trust, NRCS and its ALE program, and the Open Cross Ranch partner-up to conserve 5,000 acres of prime ranch ground in the Flint Creek Valley.
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Date: 1/8/2018
Title: The Nature Conservancy in Montana Working on Dillon-Area Ranch Conservation
Summary: Dillon ranch family, The Nature Conservancy in Montana, and the NRCS team up for agriculture conservation and ranch operation stability.
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Date: 1/5/2018
Title: Land Trust Alliance Sets 2018 Webinar Schedule
Summary: The Land Trust Alliance has scheduled a broad array of webinars to start the new year, with 30 webinars scheduled starting on Jan. 11. The complete 2018 Alliance webinar schedule is available online on the Alliance's website and a downloadable PDF is also available. The six-month webinar schedule (January through June) examines a multitude of private land conservation issues and topics, including risk management, appraisals, farmland conservation, organizational succession planning, conservation messaging, mergers, rebranding, and more. In addition, a series of complimentary webinars is also available on topics such as federal funding appraisals, Farm Bill funding, congressional advocacy, and federal funding for landscape conservation. MALT's newsletters will provide periodic information on Alliance webinars but full and complete information and contact information is available on the Alliance's website.
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Date: 1/3/2018
Title: TPL, Stimson Lumber Team Up to Strengthen Access and Forest Management
Summary: The Trust for Public Land and Stimson Lumber strengthen recreational access and improve public land management with Lolo National Forest acquisition.
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Date: 1/2/2018
Title: The Nature Conservancy in Montana's 2017 Conservation Highlights
Summary: The Nature Conservancy in Montana has posted its top five conservation highlights in 2017, which range from grasslands and river conservation to forest and wildlife projects.
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