Why Protect the Owen Sowerwine Property?
Owen Sowerwine is a 442-acre haven in one of the most complex sections of the Flathead River. A purchased conservation easement would protect the property’s vital habitat, ensure public access, and provide revenue for Montana schools.
The project will protects 442 acres of diverse forested riparian and wetland habitat including large cottonwoods as well as a large island and portions of nearby islands. It borders the Stillwater and Flathead Rivers, and over a mile of braided channels connecting the two rivers. It is used by federally listed grizzly bear and bull trout as well as black bear, fox, coyote, mountain lion, white-tailed deer, westslope cutthroat trout, and 156 bird species. It has been designated an Important Bird Area critical for the conservation of birds by Montana Audubon.
Flathead Land Trust has proposed to purchase a conservation easement on Owen Sowerwine as that long-term solution. The proposed conservation easement would provide significant funding for schools as well as ensure the land’s natural values continue to be protected and open to the public for recreation and conservation education. This proposal to DNRC received a lot of support from the public through a recent scoping process. Thus, Flathead Land Trust and its partners including the Flathead Audubon Society and the Flathead Lakers will begin fundraising in earnest to raise an estimated $775,000 needed to complete this important project. Two large funders have committed to providing a third of the needed funding and we have until September of 2023 to raise the remainder.
For more information about Owen Sowerwine see: