by Glenn Marx, Montana Association of Land Trusts Executive Director
In no order, here are 12 MALT member examples of projects advanced or finalized in 2019 that illustrate Montana land trust conservation and recreation accomplishment, impact, and value.
12. Skalkaho Bend Park – Bitter Root Land Trust teams up with city and county government on a project that significantly expands BRLT’s community profile.
11. Mount Dean Stone – Five Valleys Land Trust is hitting this one out of the park.
10. Veseth Project – Montana TNC and partners provide example of Northern Great Plains creative conservation.
9. Crabb Ranch – The Conservation Fund and USFWS partner with a family to generate impressive agriculture and wildlife conservation along the Rocky Mountain Front. Also: Sexton Conservation Easement along the Front, through work by Vital Ground with help from the NRCS.
8. Falls Creek – Speaking of the Front…the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, landowner and project partners provide an international model of conservation and outdoor recreation access.
7. Raths, MLR, NRCS and MSGOT Team Up for Sage Grouse – 11,230 acres of core sage grouse habitat conserved, and Jeff and Bea Raths traveled to DC to talk about its importance.
6. Pine Street Woods – Not long ago Kaniksu Land Trust barely had enough funding and community support to maintain an office. Now they own Pine Street Woods, a recreation jewel, and are a major Sandpoint nonprofit.
5. Main Street to the Mountains – Gallatin Valley Land Trust’s gift to the people of the greater Gallatin area, termed “a trail system for generations.”
4. Peaks to Creeks – A project so impressive the US Army gave it a national award at the Pentagon. And Prickly Pear Land Trust is just getting started.
3. Stillwater Forest Conservation – The Trust for Public Land gets rave reviews for working with partners to retain access and forest management on 14,000 acres in NW Montana.
2. Story Mill Community Park – The Trust for Public Land and abundant partners create “Bozeman’s Central Park,” a monument to the conservation and recreation value land trusts bring to Montana communities.
1. Columbia Falls Fishing Pond – Flathead Land Trust and partners create a new kid-friendly outdoor recreation asset for a grateful community.