Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman has officially acquired a 160-acre parcel within the Middle Cottonwood Trail access corridor that will ensure permanent access along the trail and also conserve wildlife habitat. GVLT plans to donate the property to the USFS, which manages the Middle Cottonwood Trail and the surrounding public land. Check out the Bozeman Daily Chronicle coverage.
“This property is a gem and is a tremendous resource for the community. It took a willing and dedicated land owner committed to conservation to get this done,” said Brendan Weiner, Program Director at GVLT. The property appraised for $752,000 and the landowner – Michael Skogen – donated over half of the property value towards the project.
The scenic property is located in the West Bridger Mountains, approximately six miles northeast of Bozeman. The community will now have public access to all 160 acres of the highly scenic parcel, where trail users have spotted an array of wildlife including mule deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, and eagles. A pristine, spring-fed creek flows through the property to Middle Cottonwood Creek, surrounded by aspen groves and mature forests. Previous development proposals for the property have recommended moving the trail, but GVLT’s purchase permanently removes the threat of development.
“Development of the property would result in significant negative impacts to the trail corridor and the surrounding habitat and would dramatically change the trail user experience,” said Weiner. “We are thrilled to have the acquisition complete.”