2016 Spring Newsletter

Agriculture is deeply woven into the fabric of Montana.  Agricultural lands and producers don't just feed our families, they feed our economy, protect wildlife habitat and safeguard our watersheds. Read about the local, state and federal policies we have advocated for in recent months, as well as the cutting-edge agricultural conservation we have been busy with though the lens of the farm and ranch families who make it possible.

2015 Summer Newsletter

Montana's culture of open lands and open space is part of what makes our state so special. In celebration of our open lands, Governor Steve Bullock designated July as Montana Open Land Month, saying, "Montana open lands are a promise to future generations--our children and grandchildren--that the state we call home, the state that we love, will be protected for them, so that rather than hearing from us about all the the amazing things that Montana once was, they can experience these things first hand." We applaud the Governor for his dedication to Montana's natural legacy, and look forward to stewarding, protecting and preserving more of western Montana in all its natural splendor.

2014 Winter Newsletter

In Salish culture, traditional “coyote” stories describe grizzly bears as leader of the animals. While the tribes that make up the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes were subsistence hunting and fishing cultures, grizzly bears were not hunted out of respect for their prominence among the animals. The cultural and spiritual importance of the grizzly bear for the people of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes continues to inform how they manage wildlife habitat on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Protecting grizzly bear habitat and reducing bear-human conflicts is an important priority for the tribes.

2014 Summer Newsletter

Western Montanans depend on the land and water around them for physical sustenance and economic prosperity. They depend on the same for their personal enjoyment and spiritual well being. Getting out in the mountains, rivers, or fertile valleys is essential for our quality of life here. For many who live in or even visit western Montana, these experiences are also the foundation for a life long conservation ethic upon which our natural legacy depends.

That’s why Five Valleys is seizing an opportunity to facilitate the public acquisition of the uppermost 160-acre portion of the old Marshall Ski Area, or Marshall Mountain, just east of Missoula. A place that was formative for many of Missoula’s dedicated outdoors enthusiasts.

2013 Winter Newsletter

Iconic Landscape – Rich Agricultural Heritage and Critical Wildlife Habitat Protected in the Mission Valley

The breathtaking Mission Valley features more than stunning snow capped peaks. It is home to abundant wildlife, diverse bird species, a vital agricultural community, and rich cultural traditions. And, in the coming weeks a historic portion of that remarkable place will be protected in perpetuity when the Moiese Valley Ranch completes its conservation easement with Five Valleys Land Trust.

2013 Summer Newsletter

Restoring the Confluence

Around the turn of the century, two young Italian immigrants, Paul and Anna Rinaldi, made their home at the confluence of the Clark Fork River and Rock Creek where they ranched the land. It was Paul’s job to walk the tracks of the new Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad each evening, lighting the kerosene lights that signaled the trains. Each morning he would walk the same tracks and put them out.  Fast forward 100 years and the beautiful ranch at the mouth of Rock Creek was slated to be subdivided into 36 lots. Letters of protest poured into the Missoula County Commissioners office and the subdivision was delayed and eventually tabled. The property was put up for sale and last year with the help of thousands of supporters, Five Valleys Land Trust purchased it to ensure that the mouth of the Rock Creek Valley will be protected forever.


2012 Winter Newsletter

Wildlife – Protecting the Land for all Living Things

“Just now, outside the picture window of my cabin, an immature bald eagle shattered the stillness of the pond attempting to kill a hen mallard.” Tim Linehan

Not all of our experiences with wildlife provide such unexpected drama as Tim Linehan describes in his essay “Diversions”, published in the collection The Roadless Yaak. Even so, the wonder and beauty of this moment captures well the complexity and amazement that comes with living in a place where we encounter wild creatures in our daily lives.

2012 Fall Newsletter

Family Places – Linking Generations and Communities

“I’m sixty-eight,” he said,
“I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life. And dammit, that’s just what
I’ve gone and done.”
From Gary Snyder’s poem “Hay for the Horses.”

It is easy to imagine something akin to those words coming from many of the landowners who have joined with Five Valleys Land Trust to secure permanent protection for their special part of the vast working landscape of western Montana. The words would be spoken with a wry smile, suggesting that whatever it had taken, it was worth the effort.

2012 Summer Newsletter

Water – Lifeblood of the Landscape

"In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time." Leonardo DaVinci

Always it has been about the water, the moving water that issues from melting snows in distant peaks. We rely on it to quench our human thirst and the thirst of our agriculture and industry. We depend upon it to sustain the diversity, the productivity and the beauty of the natural world. And we call upon it for recreation, for simple joy, and for the soothing of our human spirit.

2012 Spring Newsletter

Recreation – Nature for Body and Soul

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” John Muir

Those words of John Muir ring as true in 2012 as they did a century ago. Not a day passes in western Montana, no matter the weather, when someone does not venture onto a forest trail, amble along the bank of a moving stream, cast a trout fly gracefully over water, or climb a mountain to look out upon the world below.

2011 Fall/Winter Newsletter

Potomac Valley

On a typical autumn morning along Camas Creek, near Potomac, thick fog rolls across sleeping farms and between old barns and hay sheds. But today is not a typical day. Today Doug and Jeanne Hall, and The Nature Conservancy, are working with Five Valleys Land Trust to protect more than seven hundred acres of the Camas Creek Valley for generations to come.

2011 Summer Newsletter

Why I Want Our Ranch Land to be put in a Conservation Easement

"The value of this land as a place that supports native plants and animals is worth more to me than any amount of money. My deep connection — to the plants here, to the animals here, to the earth here — has enriched my life. And I want people in the future to have an opportunity to make that same connection." Sandy Boehmler

2010 Fall Newsletter

Spanning Divides

The Big Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers twist westward between mountain ranges radiating from the spine of the continent. They wind through rich valleys amid vast public lands and family farms and ranches, often separated by no more than a strand of wire, and sometimes not even by that. Here, a responsible land ethic on both sides of the fence provides priceless benefits for all of us who live here—clean, cold water, habitat for diverse and abundant wildlife, and food on our tables.

2010 Summer Newsletter

The North Hills

Missoulians have long cherished the beauty of the afternoon sun illuminating the rolling grasslands of the North Hills. Homesteaders established truck gardens here that nourished the growing town of Missoula in its early years. During cold winter months, elk still browse bunchgrass in these hills.  The conservation this summer of over 300 acres in the North Hills fulfilled a perennial community goal and marked an historic first for one of the leading waste disposal companies in the country.

2009 Fall Newsletter

50,000 Acres Protected

"By the end of this year, those humble beginnings will have grown to a 50,000 acre mosaic of land across eight counties in western Montana protected through conservation easements or public acquisition."


2009 Summer Newsletter

Upper Blackfoot

"Holy smokes, what a place!” That’s how Becky Garland Thumma describes the Sawbuck Ranch that she and her friends John Kowalski and Paul Roos conserved this spring with the help of Five Valleys Land Trust. Next door, Carolyn and Paul Roos protected their adjacent property on the same April day. Together these two conservation easements protect nearly two and a half miles of streams and more than 160 acres of wetlands in the upper Blackfoot.

Fast Facts

There are significant tax benefits associated with donating a conservation easement. >>

News & Events

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22nd Annual Banquet & Auction! >>