In February, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Trust for Public Land finalized a 7,000 acre easement in the Trumbull Creek watershed above Columbia Falls – headwaters to the River to Lake Initiative focus area.
The Trumbull Creek Conservation Easement Project protects important fish and wildlife habitat while allowing F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co. to continue active forest management.
It’s the right thing to do… So many people use the land for recreation, from berry picking to hunting. The Stoltze family feels really good about it. – Stoltze general manager Chuck Roady was quoted by the Whitefish Pilot.
The drainages and surrounding forests provide very important habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species, including many rare and sensitive species, all of which will benefit from this project. We appreciate the Stoltze family, the public, and all partners for their support. – Jim Williams, regional supervisor of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks was quoted by the Flathead Beacon.
The land is already used by many local youth and families for outdoor educational programs, including the Flathead Family Forestry Expo and the Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center. The conservation easement ensures these programs can continue to use the property for self-guided trail tours, forest education classes, and environmental science and wilderness survival workshops.
Flathead County and neighboring cities are rapidly changing and growing. We’re pleased to have helped preserve the heritage of local land while also protecting public access and wildlife habitat,” said Dick Dolan, Northern Rockies Director, The Trust for Public Land. – Read more in TPL‘s website.
Funding for both projects was provided by the U. S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program, U. S. Fish &Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Program, Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust and Habitat Montana programs, Bonneville Power Administration Fisheries Mitigation Program, and private funds.
The easement complements 3,000 acres protected in the Haskill Basin, where a similar conservation easement was secured in 2016.