Fall is officially here. While the bears fatten up for a long winter, farmers finish their harvest, hunters feel hopeful and recreationalists swap out bikes and boats for skis, Five Valleys is wrapping up another remarkable field season.
In reflection, one thing that is clear to me is that I measure our success by the partnerships we have developed and the broad communities we have served. These deep, reliable and enduring partnerships we’ve built across our service area with private citizens, governmental agencies and other nonprofits define us as an organization and make us better advocates for our work.
Land and water are resources we all share—with our neighbors, with wildlife, with our farms. We share the trails with hikers, cyclists, wheelchairs, horses, runners and the occasional bear or elk. We may live or play in different ways, but at our core, we as Montanans understand the value of conserving these resources.
Through collaboration we are able to better understand the unique needs of each community we serve. While some areas desperately need access to their river, others may need small but critical pieces protected in order to access their public lands. You will see in these pages that Five Valleys has worked with many diverse partners to understand and achieve our common goals. By working together, we are doing better conservation work and are building stronger communities.
I could not be more happy with the thoughtful dedication of our staff or more thankful to the landowners, donors and partners who have put their trust and faith in our organization, year after year. I hope when you read through this newsletter that you take note of not just the landscapes themselves, but the stories of the communities and people on them.
By Amber Sherrill, Five Valleys Land Trust Executive Director
Header photo by Olga Helmy