Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Land Trust Cooperation Creates NW Montana Working Forest Conservation

     The Trust for Public Land and Flathead Land Trust have teamed up with F. H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company to create a 1,072-acre working forest surrounded by forested public land north of Whitefish Lake near Olney.

     The project, which closed in late December 2020, transferred land ownership to Stoltze under the  terms of a conservation easement held by FLT. The project was put together by TPL, who had owned the land since 2017, when it had been gifted to them by Cindy and Alan Horn.

     The end result, reports both TPL and FLT, is a working forest that provides public access and wildlife habitat conservation. 

     Three great statements from the FLT website: 

     “This project is just one chapter in our long history of conserving working forests in Montana,” said Dick Dolan, Northern Rockies Regional Director for The Trust for Public Land, “We are proud to be able to preserve some of the region’s  most special places for outdoor recreation, while also ensuring the health and continuity of sustainable forestry. This project would not have been possible without the support of our exceptional partners.”

     “This incredible property is now conserved in perpetuity and protects important wildlife habitat and water quality along the Stillwater River, as well as open space and forest resources for sustainable management,” said Paul Travis, Executive Director of the Flathead Land Trust. “The conservation easement also secures access for the use and enjoyment of the public adjacent to other public lands.  As the Flathead’s community-based land trust, we are proud to be a partner on this significant forestland conservation project with The Trust for Public Land and F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co.”

      “Putting this property under conservation easement and long-term sustainable forest management is a great example of how healthy forests support healthy communities, both the two- and four-legged kind,” said Paul McKenzie, Lands & Resource manager for Stoltze.