Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Two Flathead Land Trust Recreation and Conservation Projects Gaining Traction

Two major Flathead Valley recreation and conservation projects – one at the north shore of Flathead Lake near Somers and the other near the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company facility – have recently taken key steps toward approval. Both projects involve Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a major partner.

The Somers Beach project would create permanent recreational access to Flathead Lake through sale of private land currently owned by the Sliter family. The proposed project would create a new state park on Flathead Lake’s north shore. FWP has released an environmental assessment proposing to purchase the Somers Beach property owned by the Sliter family, and comments are being accepted thru Sept. 12. Here’s a link where you can comment.

The Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project received initial approval from the Fish and Wildlife Commission to purchase and conserve 800 acres at CFAC along the Flathead River, and manage the property as a designed FWP Wildlife Management Area. The conditional approval gives FWP and FLT, as project leaders,  a two-year window to pursue needed funding to complete the project.

Both projects enjoy strong community support. (Photos: Left, Somers Beach. Right, Bad Rock Canyon



Final Approval Awarded to Potter Ranch Conservation Easement

The Lewis and Clark County Commission unanimously voted for final approval of allocating county open land program funds for the Potter Ranch conservation easement, clearing the way for Prickly Pear Land Trust to finalize the 3,100 acre project.

From a PPLT enthusiastic August 13 Facebook post:

Today marks a momentous day for conservation in the Helena Valley! This morning, the L&C County Board of Commissioners unanimously and enthusiastically voted to approve the 3,100 acre Potter Ranch Conservation Easement, PPLT’s largest easement to date. The project will officially close in the next couple weeks and will serve as a lasting reminder of the community’s foresight and commitment to protecting wild and working lands. This would not have been possible without the incredible support from the PPLT community. Thank you to everyone who wrote a letter of support for this project and everyone who supports the work we do day to day. Because of your support, generations to come will delight in the open views, pristine wildlife habitat, and working lands the Potter Ranch affords; an immeasurable benefit.

MALT thanks the Potter family, open land citizen advisory committee and committee staff, and the Lewis and Clark County Commissioners.

Kevin League Photography