A new conservation easement held by the Flathead Land Trust completes protection of Reed’s Slough, a popular bird-watching wetland. The conservation property is owned by Bob Danford and protects 36 acres, including 15 acres of the slough and surrounding farmland.
The slough is frequented by 111 species of birds and thousands of migrating waterfowl including tundra swans, snow geese, northern pintail, mallard, and American wigeon. A tagged snow goose that migrated from Wrangel Island, Russia, was observed on the Danford property last spring – it had migrated 2,562 miles to get there.
Reed’s Slough is dissected by North Somers Rd. and was already partially protected by a conservation easement. This project completes protection of the slough. R2L partners have been working with landowners over the last two decades to provide conservation options to landowners in this wetland-rich lower valley area. The Danford property is surrounded by a significant network of protected lands totaling 1,300 acres, including Wiley Slough, a 200-acre wetland to the west, and numerous conservation easements along the Flathead River.
Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North American Wetland Conservation Act Program, a program that protects migratory bird habitat and wetlands to ensure sustainable populations of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species in North America. Additional funding for the project came from grants and donations from Cinnabar Foundation, Flathead Lakers, the Flathead River to Lake Conservation Fund, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Wildlife Mitigation Program, Flathead Audubon, and Flathead Wildlife.
New easement south of Kalispell to benefit migratory birds, waterfowl by Kianna Gardner, Daily Inter Lake, March 23, 2021