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September 20

Landowners honored with Wetland Stewardship Award

River to Lake partners honored over 40 families along the Flathead River and the North Shore of Flathead Lake for their conservation efforts.

Jim Mann, reporter with the Daily Inter Lake, wrote:

“About 130 people attended the event at the Diamond B Ranch in the lower Flathead Valley Tuesday evening, including people who accepted on behalf of 15 families Wetland Stewardship Awards that were presented at the state Capitol in Helena on behalf of the Montana Wetland Stewardship Council.  An additional 15 families who were not represented at the annual meeting also were recognized.

The families have all been involved with voluntary conservation agreements with the Flathead Land Trust, the Nature Conservancy or the Montana Land Reliance.  Those agreements have provided permanent protections for farmlands and wildlife habitat in the Flathead Valley as part of a program called the River to Lake Initiative.

…By focusing on the main stem of the Flathead River from Columbia Falls to the north shore of Flathead Lake, the partner organizations and agencies have assisted more than 40 landowners to realize their conservation visions for their lands.  Many of the families are descended from original homesteaders and in some cases represent five generations on a single property.”

The conservation efforts of these families have helped protect some very special places.  Together, they help maintain our healthy waters, a healthy corridor for fish and wildlife, scenic beauty, and traditional working farms.

River to Lake partners estimate that private and public conservation on the river has resulted in the protection of nearly 10 miles of riverfront, 41% of the 100-year floodplain, and 50% of wetlands within the focus area.

Photos by Harley Mumma.

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