Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Keeping It In Grass

     An article from the USDA through its information service showcases an eastern Montana ranch conservation easement that includes a wonderful collection of quotes about the value of land conservation.

     The article, titled The Value of Keeping it in Grass, written by Brianna Randall of the NRCS, profiles the Burke family (Kelly, Tami and their three children)  and their 18,000-acre Desert Coulee Ranch.

     Here’s a sampling of the quotes:

     Tracy Cumber, NRCS district conservationist in Glasgow: “I’ve found that the Burkes are committed to this community, to their family, and to the future of agriculture. They decided an easement was the right decision to conserve their ranch not only for their own children but also for future generations.”

     Kelly: “The most appealing aspect was the financial benefit. But I also like that this will stay intact as one ranch forever.”

     Brian Martin, The Nature Conservancy: “Everything you need to do to operate a ranch is compatible with an easement. We’ve been successful because neighbors talk to neighbors. They see you can still raise cows with an easement, and that it benefits local families…It’s an easy win-win between ranching and conservation. We all value keeping it in grass, that’s the common thread.”