Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Flathead Land Trust Celebrates Somers Beach State Park

Montana’s newest state park Somers Beach State Park on the north shore of Flathead Lake is open after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 12.

The event included comments from Gov. Greg Gianforte, Montana Fish, Parks and Wildlife leaders, leaders from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Flathead Land Trust, and the Sliter family.

FLT’s Paul Travis and Laura Katzman are in the far right of the photo.


Report Highlights Economic Importance of Conservation in Montana’s Northern Great Plains

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Montana Association of Land Trusts (MALT), and the Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HOTR) have partnered to produce a 20-page report analyzing the economic impact of conservation easements in Montana. The report concludes that since it was created in the 2014 Farm Bill, the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) program has produced a $182 million economic benefit to Montana agricultural producers, rural main streets, rural economies, and the state’s overall economy.

Page 8 of the report focuses on Montana’s Northern Great Plains. The full report is available on the MALT website home page.


Flathead Land Trust Receives Funds for Bigfork Cooperative Trails Project

Flathead Land Trust has received a $75,000 grant from the Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program to advance the Bigfork-Harrrell Forest Community Trails Project. Other major partners in the project are The Trust for Public Land and The Montana Land Reliance.

A sign near the Big Mountain Trailhead of the Whitefish Trails system on May 13, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon


New Report Demonstrates Economic Value of Farm Bill ALE Program

The Farm Bill’s Agricultural Land Easement program is producing dynamic economic benefits for Montana farm and ranch families, local economies, rural main streets and Montana’s agriculture industry. A new report titled “Working for Montana Agriculture: Economic Benefits of Conservation Easements for Montana’s Farms, Ranches, and Communities” highlights the program’s positive impacts in Montana.



MALT Celebrates the Montana Land Trust and The Laundress Partnership on Earth Day

Since 2016, The Laundress has donated 50% of proceeds from its Out West collection to the Montana Association of Land Trusts, helping protect over 3 million acres of private land in Montana. Thanks to The Laundress partnership with MALT and The Laundress customer support, The Laundress voices pride in donating $180,000 to date to keep the West wide open and full of possibility, adventure, and endless natural beauty.

Guest Column: The Quiet, Impactful Side of GVLT’s Conservation Work

Gallatin Valley Land Trust approaches land conservation one thoughtful decision at a time. Read the guest column, written by GVLT executive director Chet Work, here.

“The real strength of our conservation tool is its longevity and the power woven into the positive working relationship between our stewardship team and the visionary landowners who have made a commitment to protect the land they love. Without such generous partners — the thoughtful stewards of the habitat, soils, heritage, clean water, and open scenic lands that define this place — and the trusting, supportive community that sustains GVLT, none of this would be possible.”

TNC Montana Completes 4,640 Acre Big Hole Valley Conservation Easement

Enjoy this recent Montana Nature Conservancy news!

Last week, our TNC Montana chapter completed the ~4,640-acre Jackson Ranches conservation easement in the Upper Big Hole Valley! 🎉

The property supports a diverse mosaic of sagebrush grassland, wet meadow, dense riparian willow bottoms, aspen, spruce and lodgepole forest, and wild hay meadows. The ranch supports an equally diverse array of fish and wildlife. The easement protects over 4 miles of the upper Big Hole River and over 5 miles of tributary creeks – all critical for Arctic grayling spawning and rearing.

A big heartfelt thank you to our awesome team and the many funders/partners that made this kind of permanent conservation achievement possible, and another huge thank you to the Jackson Family for trusting TNC and choosing to protect their property forever!