From an article in the Ravalli Republic about the Gates family celebrating a conservation on their 160-acre farm:
It would be hard to imagine that Sam Gates could be much happier as he sat at the head of the kitchen table in the home where his family has gathered for generations.
“There are just so many memories wrapped up in this place,” Gates said. “All of these things that have tied us together as a family are right here in this place that we grew up.”
The 160 acres of prime farmland that comprise the easement are located just west of the Lone Rock School.
“All of us here at the Land Trust are so honored to have had the opportunity to work with Sam and the entire Gates family to conserve their farm,” said Bitter Root Land Trust Executive Director Gavin Ricklefs. “The Gates family’s deep connection to this land is evident whenever they talk about their lives growing up here along Three Mile Creek, and we’re happy to be able to provide this tool that gives local landowners like the Gates an option for ensuring their family lands are part of the valley’s agricultural future.”
“Right from the very first time that we started talking about it, everyone was board,” Gates said. “I think my dad is smiling down at us right now and I think mom would be too now that we’ve completed the process. … It’s a wonderful thing when you know that you can always go home.”