Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Sign-On Letter Encourages Congressional Support for LWCF

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a top priority for many members of the Montana land trust community and is a major focus of MALT’s policy advocacy. The National LWCF Coalition is circulating a sign-on letter in support of full dedicated LWCF funding, and MALT is circulating the letter to the membership with encouragement for MALT members to sign on to the letter.

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Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Works to Expand Wildlife Area

The Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area has expanded by 160 acres, thanks to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Edna Schmeller, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The property is about 10 miles south of Anaconda at the base of the Anaconda-Pintlar Mountains. Previously surrounded on two sides by the 56,000-acre Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area (WMA), it is now part of the WMA (Montana’s largest) itself. “This is a critical stretch of landscape. It is a migration corridor for elk and mule deer because it connects winter range on the west side of the Continental Divide with calving and fawning grounds as well as summer range on the east side of the Divide,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Plus it features vital riparian habitat that supports a wide range of other fish, wildlife and plant species.”

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‘Honoring the Idea’ of Open Land in Gallatin Gateway

A conservation easement in Gallatin Gateway has been donated to Gallatin Valley Land Trust that seeks to honor a person – Sydney Kurland – and his idea (and ideal) of open land.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle article captures the commitment of Kurland (a former teacher at Montana State University) and Emily Gadd, current owner of the property, to conserve the 30 acres that sits “at end of a dirt road in Gallatin Gateway.”
From the article:
I feel like I’m honoring his idea of what he wanted this place to be,” Gadd said. “He always wanted to do an easement. He wouldn’t have wanted to see this place developed like all the other places around here.”
…“The beauty of this place is it’s at the end of a dirt road, it’s really private and it’s right on the river,” she said. “We need to protect these places, and I wish more people would think about conservation because God knows this place is getting chopped up.”…“Gallatin County is rapidly growing and experiencing urban sprawl, so having people like Emily (Gadd) place conservation easements on their land protects agricultural areas, preserves wildlife and maintains important migration corridors,” said Chad Klinkenborg of Gallatin Valley Land Trust. “It is also an opportunity for landowners to preserve what they love about their property forever.”

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Heart of the Rockies Meets Nov. 5-6

The Heart of the Rockies Initiative will meet in Fairmont Hot Springs on Nov. 5-6. Contact JoAnn Grant at for meeting information.

Land Trust Alliance President Andrew Bowman Tours Story Mill Community Park

Land Trust Alliance President Andrew Bowman shared some Alliance key policy and funding thoughts on Oct. 4 with a group of Montana Association of Land Trusts members during a meeting at Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman. In addition to a brief tour of Story Mill Community Park, Andrew visited with Montana land trust officials on a wide range of issues including climate change/carbon sequestration and related funding opportunities; Farm Bill implementation and the Alliance’s collaboration with the NRCS, which will include new Alliance staffing positions; the importance of the Alliance regional offices and leadership training for land trust personnel; and syndication of conservation easement tax benefits. Andrew said passage of legislation to stop syndication of conservation easement tax benefits is a top Alliance legislative priority.

GVLT, NRCS, Gallatin County Team Up With Kamps to Conserve Key Ag Lands

Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the NRCS, Kamps family and the Gallatin County Open Land Program have partnered to conserve 500 acres of “some of the most productive land in Gallatin County.” Conservation easements were placed on the property ensuring that the beautiful and productive land will remain open and available for agriculture in perpetuity. The Kamps family has successfully farmed the property for generations, and their goal is to keep it that way.

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‘High Fives Are in Order’

Gallatin Valley Land Trust communications and outreach director EJ Porth’s Sept. 28 guest column in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle applauds local government, local citizens, local landowners and the participants within the process to update the Gallatin County Growth Policy. In her column, EJ salutes the economic, population, and landscape diversity of Gallatin County, and the county’s open lands program purpose and results.

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