Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Montana Land Reliance Ag Forum Coming Up Feb. 6

The Montana Land Reliance 5th Annual Greater Yellowstone Agriculture Forum is set for Feb. 6, in Three Forks starting at 9:00 AM, with the theme “Stormy Weather – The Road Ahead in a Changing Landscape.”

The Forum will be held at The Gathering Place at the Lewis & Clark, 510 S. Main Street. There is no charge to attend.

Presenters include MSU Professor Bruce Maxwell, rancher Jim Hagenbarth of Dillon, and Krista Lee Evans, a noted water rights expert. Other speakers and organizations may provide information about their programs and services as well. Lunch will be served, and the event is scheduled to end shortly after lunch.

RSVPs are encouraged before Feb. 3 by contacting Kathryn at 406-579-5481 or at

Bitterroot Conservation Easement Protects Wildlife Corridor “Funnel”

Anna Mae Paddock appreciates family legacy, agricultural opportunities, open lands, wildlife habitat and wildlife viewing, and she was able to perpetuate all that and more working with Bitter Root Land Trust and the Ravalli County Open Land Program to place a conservation easement on her 220 acre Paddock Ranch.

The property, nestled under Lake Como near Darby, supports a variety of wildlife and the Ravalli Republic article quotes BRLT’s Kyle Barber as saying, “One of the cool pieces of this property is the wildlife that moves through this place. This is pretty much the narrowest stretch of the valley here…It’s like a funnel that comes down for wildlife.” The parcel is in the middle of three other properties that have already been protected by conservation easements.

Anna Mae’s family arrived in the Bitterroot Valley by covered wagon in 1900, and now 120 years later she has worked to create the first Bitterroot Valley county open land bond project in 2020. “I would like to put the property into conservation because I would like the remaining property to remain undeveloped,” she wrote in a letter to BRLT. “The view of the Como Peaks is breathtaking. It is so quiet and serene. I would like the property to remain the same as it is today, to be used for livestock grazing and crops. There is an abundance of wildlife on the property.” Congratulations, BRLT and the Paddock family.

Nominations Open for Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame

The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for the 2020 induction through Feb, 29, 2020.

From the MOHF website: YOU can nominate inductees to the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame! Do you know someone deserving of this honor? If so, please consider submitting a nomination recognizing the outstanding contributions they have made to the restoration, conservation, and protection of our great state of Montana. Every two years, we seek to induct a diverse group of highly qualified individuals into the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame. Nominees do not have to be living nor do they have to be a resident of Montana, as long as they have spent some time in Montana and the impact to Montana was or is significant. Anyone can nominate a deserving person; inductees are nominated through an open process. Current inductees are also available on the website. 

The Nature Conservancy in Montana, Lolo National Forest Preserve Access

The Nature Conservancy in Montana and the US Forest Service completed a transaction last week that transfers 16,400 acres into the federal estate where it will be managed to fulfill several public land and public recreational needs. The transaction will: Secure and expand access to the east side of the Rattlesnake Wilderness and associated Rattlesnake National Recreation Area; connect developed recreation at Lake Placid Lake and the Clearwater River corridor, popular regional recreation areas; conserve public access to popular winter recreation areas that are key to the Seeley Lake economy; and secure habitat and migration routes for wildlife such as grizzly bears, lynx, bull trout and Westslope cutthroat trout. Dave Hanna/TNC photo