Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Prickly Pear Looking to Again Extend Helena’s Trail System

     Thanks to Prickly Pear Land Trust and many partners, the community trails system in Helena keeps getting bigger and better.

     Last week PPLT and the City of Helena announced an effort for PPLT to purchase and then donate about 54 acres of private land to the city for trails expansion.  PPLT would obtain a portion of the funding to purchase the land from the US Defense Department’s ACUB (Army Compatible Use Buffer) program. PPLT utilized that funding source for previous projects near Fort Harrison.

     A Helena Independent Record article quoted a city official as saying the potential acquisition would provide better continuity within the trail system, improve emergency personnel access and provide further opportunities to conduct wildfire fuel reduction work.

     “Any chance we have an opportunity to add strategic public land and recreation value pieces to our public land, especially those that are adjacent to residential communities, we should jump on the opportunity,” PPLT executive director Mary Hollow said, citing heavy use of existing trails.

     Hollow also said, “I’d like to applaud this commission and the leadership of the city that together over the course of the last 22 years, we have now added upwards of 20 parcels to the South Hills that comprise today some of the best trails and public lands that we have in the state.”