KPAX television news recently checked in with the mayor of Hamilton, the Ravalli County Commission and Bitter Root Land Trust and produced a news segment on the proposed new city park in Hamilton, a 70-acre project that will be a gem for the Bitterroot Valley. The proposed park is firmly placed on Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf’s 2019 “to-do“ list, and the news segment termed the new park a “major accomplishment for generations to come.”
Flathead Land Trust and landowner Molly Shepherd work to conserve 78 acres of North Fork of the Flathead forestland that is home to over 80 migratory bird species and other wildlife. The American Forest Foundation certified the property as a Family Forest in 2014.
Some good news yesterday from Congress on the LWCF. Despite ongoing controversies in DC the Land and Water Conservation Fund should be a policy priority. It has been 100 days since the LWCF expired. The LWCF is incredibly important to Montana outdoor recreation, conservation, forest management, and economy.
The Lewis and Clark County Commission approved allocating $340,000 of county open space program funding on Jan. 8 to Prickly Pear Land Trust’s Peaks to Creeks Initiative west of Helena near Fort Harrison. PPLT purchased two properties totaling 534 acres near the Fort in 2016. PPLT’s project benefits the community by restoring riparian areas, wetlands and streamflows on Sevenmile Creek, and by essentially creating a new public park and trails system along Tenmile Creek.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation made a request to the Lewis and Clark County Commission on Jan. 8 for county open space program funding to help complete the Falls Creek recreational access project near Augusta. RMEF’s Mike Mueller presented the project to the commission, which entails purchasing 442 acres from the Barrett Ranch to open up access to more than 26,000 acres of additional public lands. The project was recommended for approval by the open space program’s citizens advisory committee. The county commission voiced support for the proposal and opened up a public comment period on the project.
The Land Trust Alliance 2019 schedule for webinars is available on the Alliance’s website, and the webinars start on Jan. 15 with two sessions; one on Advanced Risk Management and one on Conservation Easement Monitoring. The Alliance website provides the times and dates for the full 2019 webinar sessions, and information about payments, including a 2019 All-Access Pass.
Flathead Land Trust’s annual FLT Conservation Leadership Awards were presented to Walt Bahr and Don Hauth at a year-end gathering in the Flathead. Bahr served as an early FLT board member and monitoring volunteer. Hauth is also a former FLT board member and monitoring volunteer, and has a conservation easement on his property.
Open space conserved, hunting opportunities expanded, ranch families and ag production maintained. Seems like a pretty good deal.
Five Valleys Land Trust and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks are partnering on a 1,200-acre ranch proposed conservation easement near Philipsburg that includes a recreational access component managed by MTFWP. A hearing on the proposed project is set for Jan. 8 in Drummond and the public can comment on the proposal until Jan. 18.
Conservation projects by the Montana Land Reliance and Flathead Land Trust are part of the proposed North Shore Wildlife Management Area. The new plan identifies objectives for wildlife habitat, weed management, infrastructure, and public recreation throughout the 427-acre the North Shore Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located approximately seven miles southeast of Kalispell. The plan also lists proposed management actions that would help achieve those objectives. The WMA is traditional farmland that features a mix of cultivated grain fields, seasonally flooded grasslands, and wooded uplands along Flathead Lake. Owned and managed by FWP, the property abuts the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 1,887-acre North Shore Waterfowl Production Area, which includes conservation easements held on private land by Montana Land Reliance and Flathead Land Trust.