In 2009 and 2010, the extended Louden family placed conservation easements on 1,088 acres of farmland, wetlands, riparian habitat and floodplain.
The properties stretch along the Flathead River to the east and west of Church Slough (3.9 miles along the river, and 1.6 miles within the slough), connecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife along the river, as well as protecting 855 acres of rich agricultural soils (prime farmland and farmland of statewide importance) which will stay in agricultural production.
The Flathead Land Trust secured a Natural Resource Conservation Service Farm and Ranch Protection Program grant for the project, and holds the conservation easement. Partners are also working with landowners to plant native trees and shrubs along the river banks.
River to Lake partners thank the extended Louden family for a legacy gift to the Flathead – a beautiful river, productive farmland, open vistas, and wildlife habitat. News story: Critical Wetlands, 4 Miles of Flathead River and Prime Farmland Protected. Land Trust Completes Major Project Along Flathead River.