Bitter Root Land Trust’s “Keep It Bitterroot” campaign is all about the present, and addressing concerns now to improve the future. A featured article in the Ravalli Republic outlines the campaign, which is a direct response to current and dramatic population pressures in the Bitterroot and the value of maintaining the valley’s agricultural, recreational and open land heritage.
From the article: “People have realized that this is one of the best places in the world to live, but that rapid growth puts a real stress on our way of life and all the things that make this place so incredible and such a wonderful place to live,” said Bitter Land Trust executive director Gavin Ricklefs. “At some level right now, it feels like conservation in the valley is a race against time.”
Lauren Rennaker, the trust’s development director, said the “Keep it Bitterroot” fundraising campaign is driven by the fact that families are asking for help in conserving their land.
“We have landowners who are seeing all this change and realizing that they want to protect their land before it’s too late,” Rennaker said. “They are coming to us and saying we are ready to do this. Right now, we have a couple of dozen landowners who are interested in conserving their land.”
“Keep it Bitterroot means protecting our natural environment, but also our small town Montana lifestyle as well,” said Bryan Dufresne, a Darby teacher and land trust Next Generation committee member. “We want to continue to enjoy the very reason we live here for years to come.” Check out the Keep It Bitterroot video here.