Brian Martin, grasslands conservation director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana, wrote a recent guest opinion for the Billings Gazette in which he articulated the success of TNC’s grassland banking programs in places like north central Montana. The TNC Matador Ranch (featured in MALT’s 2016 film “On the Shoulders of Giants) “touches more than 350,000 acres and 25 ranch families,“ Brian writes in his op-ed. The articles ends with: We trust that local owners who have expertise, passion, and commitment to the land are the best way forward for conservation and this is also the best way for their communities to thrive. In a world where both trust and vision can often seem in short supply, these partnerships are proving that they still exist, sometimes with the most unlikely of allies.
Thanks to Troy and Dena Griffin, the NRCS and a Farm Bill ag conservation program, and Bitter Root Land Trust, the Griffin Ranch near Stevensville in the Bitterroot Valley a ranch is conserved, brought back to life, and a legacy retained.
The US House of Representatives voted 363-62 on Feb. 27 to pass permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a public lands package that includes conservation measures for Montana. The bill was sent to the President’s desk where his signature is expected, and when it happens it will be final step that accomplishes a historical conservation accomplishment. All three members of the Montana Congressional Delegation vocally supported passage of S. 47, the bill that contains the LWCF reauthorization and the public lands package. Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte spoke on the House floor in favor of LWCF reauthorization and in favor of the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, which would eliminate 30,000 acres in the Paradise Valley from mining.
Lovely, emotional, lyrical and visual story of one Montana ranch on the Rocky Mountain Front. Impressive story and some amazing images. The Conservation Fund and the Crabb Ranch team up on ranch conservation and a beautiful 8-minute film.
Story Mill Community Park, a gift to Bozeman residents made possible through leadership from The Trust for Public Land, is making progress on a housing component affiliated with the park. A Feb. 22 Chronicle article touted TPL’s partnership with Bozeman HRDC on a proposed subsidized housing project to adjoin the Story Mill Park complex. The plan is smaller homes, featuring accessibility to the city’s new community park, a combination that fits with TPL’s vision that everyone live within a 10-minute walking distance of a park.
A collaborative effort by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the National Geographic Society has generated an interactive exhibit now on display at RMEF headquarters in Missoula that shows the year-around migration of elk across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The exhibit, titled Invisible Boundaries, is a highly interactive exhibit created by National Geographic and based on years of scientific data. “This is an amazing exhibit that follows the migration routes of nine different elk herds throughout the Yellowstone region,“ said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the good folks at National Geographic in allowing us to host this display and we encourage everyone to come check it out.“ Added Chris Johns, Beyond Yellowstone program leader for the National Geographic Society, “The Invisible Boundaries exhibit ended up at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because that’s where it belongs. RMEF is about elk and education and helping people understand the intricacies and wonder of elk.“ RMEF is located at 5705 Grant Creek Road in Missoula.
Area ranchers and The Nature Conservancy in Montana form creative partnership in north central Montana to help keep ranch land in private hands as ranch land.
Five Valleys Land Trust and a diverse array of project partners are actively working to close two conservation projects, one near Philipsburg (Buxbaum-Boulder Ranch) and one close to Garrison (Graveley Ranch). The Missoula Current article details the status of the two separate projects, which total over 4,200 acres of conservation. Five Valleys led the way on the two projects, with help from several key partners, including The Conservation Fund; Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Natural Resource Damages Program. In the article, Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission chair Dan Vermillion “heaped praise on the conservation easements and all the partners who made them happen.” “It may not appear to folks right now that this is really important. But I can guarantee that in 100 years, people will be thanking you for getting this done,” Vermillion said.
The US Senate voted 92-8 yesterday to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. That’s historically important bipartisan support for conservation and outdoor recreation. Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines helped lead passage of S. 47 and are strong and consistent LWCF advocates. The measure now goes to the US House for passage and then to the President for his signature.
Bitter Root Land Trust, continuing to expand its conservation and outdoor recreation service to Ravalli County, is seeking a $98,985 Montana Recreation Trails Program grant to help build trails at the proposed new Skalkaho Bend Park in Hamilton. The Ravalli Republic reported BRLT is one of three Ravalli County entities applying for funding within the program. Over $3.5 million of requests have been submitted for $1.5 million in available funding. Another Montana land trust applying for FWP trails funding in 2019 is Five Valleys Land Trust, which is seeking an $80,540 grant to expand trails at the Mount Dean Stone project.