Kaniksu Land Trust is sponsoring a presentation on March 16 in Sandpoint titled “The Ospreys of North Idaho,” featuring a presentation by Dr. Wayne Melquist. The event features two showings – 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM – at the Little Panida Theatre, with meet and greets set for 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Dr. Melquist has studied ospreys for 45 years. Tickets for the event are $5 and are on sale now.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust was named the recipient of the Bill Wright Conservation Award in Land Stewardship by the Gallatin Conservation District on March 9. In a Facebook post, GVLT wrote: THANK YOU for this incredible honor. We are humbled to work alongside our valley’s farmers and ranchers, exceptional stewards of our open lands.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will be one of the final steps for Flathead Land Trust’s West Valley Wetlands Project, a project that would conserve key sandhill crane habitat and provide access for viewing and educational experiences as well. The commission meets April 19 in Livingston. A Missoulian article touted the work done by FLT and partners to bring the proposal to the commission, and highlighted the wildlife, wetland, agricultural, wildlife viewing and educational opportunities associated with the project. The $1.4 million project is complex, with diverse funding sources and specific goals for project outcomes from some of those sources.
Gallatin County Commissioners voted unanimously on March 6 to place an open space mill levy on the June 2018 ballot. That means voters will have an opportunity to approve the levy, which if passed would provide approximately $20 million over a 15-year period for county open land conservation and Regional Park improvements.
A 2017 survey by the Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research shows 63,000 hikers, runners, and bikers recreated on Helena’s South Trails in 2017. The report, released through Prickly Pear Land Trust last week, also shows users of the trails spent over $4 million in the local area in the summer of 2017. “PPLT strives for bettering quality of life benchmarks and this real-time data provides important information to assist in our planning and understanding of the economic and social impacts of our South Hills land acquisition and trails work,“ said PPLT executive director Mary Hollow. “It was wonderful to see the high values placed on our work in building the South Hills land estate and establishing and maintaining the trails system with the city of Helena and U.S. Forest Service over the years.”
The Billings Gazette strongly endorsed a proposed eastern Montana conservation easement by MT FWP that would generate hunter access, conserve wildlife habitat, retain agricultural production and protect property rights. The editorial strongly encourages the Montana Land Board to approve the easement at its March meeting. MALT testified in support of the easement at the February Land Board meeting.
Prickly Pear Land Trust in Helena has organized a friendly group of trail runners who run each Tuesday at noon, and they call themselves the Happy Snails.
Gallatin County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution on Feb. 27 that recommends a mill levy go on the June 2018 primary ballot to fund the county’s open space program and pay for some work at the Gallatin County Regional Park. The commission will hold a final vote on the ballot language at its meeting next week. Montana land trusts have been advocating for the June open space ballot measure, which if passed would provide close to $20 million over a 15-year period.
The Bitter Root Land Trust is working with the city of Hamilton and others to create “an incredible community asset for a long, long time.”
“This valley is going to keep on growing, the wave is coming, we’re not here to stop it,” said Mark Kehke, board president of Gallatin Valley Land Trust. He said partnerships with the community, city and county could help direct where growth happens, “or maybe, more importantly, where growth doesn’t happen.”