Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

GVLT, NRCS, Gallatin County and Spring Family Partner to Conserve 100-Year-Old Farm

    Thanks to the Spring family, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Gallatin County Open Lands Program, the 100-year-old Spring Valley Farm will produce agricultural products, open space and wildlife habitat for another 100 years and longer. A  permanent conservation easement, held by GVLT under the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (with ACEP funding) with funding help from the county open land program, was finalized earlier this month.

     The Spring Family Farm, 313 acres in size, was established in 1902 by homesteader Wilbur Spring, located northeast of present-day Belgrade. GVLT reports that Wilbur Spring, Jr. “turned the swampy pasture land into a thriving hay and grain operation.”  Today, the farm remains in agricultural production, including wheat, barley, oats, and canola and alfalfa hay.

     From the GVLT website:The Spring siblings wrote to the Gallatin County Open Lands Board that a conservation easement “ensure[s] that future generations will also be able to experience the feeling of peace that overtakes anyone who walks through the hay fields while gazing at the beautiful Bridger Mountains and watching the antics of the Sandhill cranes and the other creatures that inhabit this paradise.”

     The legacy of the Spring family will live on in their land, which is now protected in perpetuity with the help of the Gallatin County Open Lands Program, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the generosity and dedication of the Spring Family.