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Fundraising for the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project off to a great start!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Flathead Land Trust and the Flathead Lakers to ensure we have the funding to purchase the Bad Rock project property.

We are so excited to let you know that pending a new grant award, the fundraising gap for the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation project has been closed and the necessary funding reached to assist Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks with the purchase of the 772-acre Bad Rock Canyon property! We look forward to updating you in August when we learn the final news on the grant award.

LATEST NEWS:  Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) has released a draft environmental assessment for the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project. MFWP is seeking public input on whether it should purchase the 772-acre Bad Rock project land to be managed as a Wildlife Management Area to protect public recreation access, fish and wildlife habitat, and water quality. You can read the draft environmental assessment and comment on it until Sept. 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. Comments can be sent to MFWP’s Kris Tempel at or Bad Rock Canyon WMA, MFWP, Attn: Kris Tempel, 490 N. Meridian, Kalispell, MT 59901. Please send in your comments of support for the project! Comments received will be used to form a recommendation on whether to complete the acquisition and this recommendation will be forwarded to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission. If approved, the project would go before the Montana Land Board for final review. Previously submitted comments on the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation project proposal will not be considered for the EA process, so it is important that new comments be submitted even if you already did previously.  A virtual public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. to provide information on the project and answer questions. The online meeting will be streamed via Zoom online at

Check this beautiful video  showcasing the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project near Columbia Falls.

We’re overwhelmed by the community support for the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project!  R2L partners secured $6.5 million from state and federal grants and over $500,000 from individuals donations, foundations, and grants. Thank you to all who supported this project and helped us get here!

The Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project is critical for connecting core habitat along the Flathead River and between mountain ranges.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is proposing to purchase 772 acres of critical lands along 1.1 miles of the Flathead River east of Columbia Falls and downstream of Bad Rock Canyon to create a new public Wildlife Management Area.

The project is located on a narrow passage connecting core grizzly bear habitat between the Whitefish and Swan mountains ranges, including 700 acres of healthy riparian forest, 80 acres of wetlands, a mile of a warm spring creek.

The Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project is part of a network of critical lands in the Flathead Valley that is important for sustaining our excellent water quality, abundant fish and wildlife, recreational opportunities, and the quality of life we enjoy.

Flathead River to Lake Initiative partners work with interested landowners. 

The land is owned by the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company (CFAC) which entered into an agreement giving Flathead Land Trust and MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks a window of time to obtain the funding to purchase the property and create a new public Wildlife Management Area. The land does not include the former aluminum plant site.

MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks have secured $6.5 million toward the purchase, and the Flathead Land Trust, in partnership with the Flathead Lakers and other R2L partners, helped raise $500,000 in non-Federal match to bring this important conservation project to fruition. We are waiting to hear from a new grant which we expect will help us close the funding gap and get this vital 772 acres in MT Fish, Wildlife, & Parks ownership by Dec. 2021. 

The project protects core wildlife habitat and landscape connectivity

Native fish and wildlife: The land provides vital landscape connectivity and travel corridors for bull trout grizzly bears, and  winter range for elk and white-tailed deer.  The project would also conserve key habitat for 192 species of birds for breeding, wintering, and as a vital stopover to refuel on their migration including 59 species identified as conservation priorities. A warm spring flowing through the property stays open year-round providing important open water for waterfowl early in the spring.

Water quality: The 700 acres of riparian forests, including 120 acres cottonwood galley forests, 80 acres of wetlands, and shallow groundwater bordering the river help safeguard the healthy function and excellent water quality of the Flathead River and Flathead Lake.

The project will safeguard open space and recreational opportunities

“This project creates a unique opportunity to protect wildlife habitat and public access on the doorstep of the Gateway to Glacier and along the Flathead River,” said MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Supervisor Jim Williams.

The Bad Rock Canyon Project will create new public access and recreational opportunities near Columbia Falls. The land would be managed by MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks for with wildlife, but also providing public access and recreational opportunities, such as a trail for hikers, bikers, and birdwatchers, and continuation of the youth and disabled hunting opportunities for deer and elk.

Bad Rock Canyon Project Flyer. Share with others! Ask friends and family to donate to the Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project for your birthday or other special occasion!

For questions about the Bad Rock Canyon Project contact the Flathead Land Trust at 406-752-8293.

For questions about making a donation to the R2L Conservation Fund to fund this project contact Flathead Lakers at 406-883-1341.


More stories:  

Conservation groups near goal for Bad Rock Canyon purchase, Daily Inter Lake, May 5, 2021

Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project Closes Funding Gap, Flathead Beacon, May 11, 2021

Funding a Future for Bad Rock Canyon, Flathead Beacon, March 20, 2021

Groups look to secure funds for 800-acre C-Falls conservation project, Daily Inter Lake, August 23, 2020

Bad Rock Canyon wetlandsPlan OK’d to buy aluminum company land, Daily Inter Lake, Aug 20, 2020

Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project Gains Initial Approval, Flathead Beacon, Aug 14, 2020

Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project, Flathead Land Trust, Aug 14, 2020

Commissioners endorse Bad Rock Wildlife Management Area, Hungry Horse News, Aug 20, 2020 

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