WHITEFISH - Close to 1000 acres of pristine farm and wildlife land in the Flathead and Mission valleys will be permanently protected thanks to conservation easements.
A total of 655 acres of rich farmland will be protected in the Flathead along the Stillwater River southwest of Whitefish. The acreage includes 1.7 miles of riparian forest and wetlands protected along the river, a key wildlife habitat area.
In the Mission Valley, 315 acres of farmland will remain protected south of Polson. The acreage sits just south of the Pablo Reservoir which provides water for irrigation on the property.
The easement will allow the property to remain viable for agricultural reasons while also benefiting birds and wildlife that frequent the area.
The Flathead Land Trust, an organization dedicated to protecting northwest Montana’s land and water legacy through conservation, helped facilitate the easements with the help of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Natural Resource Conservation Service Agricultural Land Easement Program, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation through the Heart of the Rockies Keep in Connected Program and others.