Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Flathead Family’s Conservation Legacy Grows

From a Kalispell Daily Inter Lake editorial: Last week longtime Whitefish residents John and Anne Collins announced they had finalized a conservation easement that permanently protects 672 acres along Whitefish Lake, including a massive 1.2 miles of undeveloped shoreline.

The forested land hugging Lazy Bay abuts a swath of Montana State School Trust Land.

Montana Land Reliance’s Mark Schiltz hit the target when he described the deal as one of the most important easements in the valley. Given the explosive growth taking place in the valley, “this couldn’t happen at a more important time,” he commented.

The conservation easement not only protects the land from future development, but it will help ensure the lake’s water quality stays pristine and keeps intact important fish and wildlife habitat.

It should be noted that in the early 2000s the Collins also placed their 480-acre property in the North Fork in a conservation easement.

The Flathead Valley certainly owes a tip of the hat to John and Anne for their long-term vision to make this corner of Montana a better place to live, work and play, for generations to come.