News

Miller-Gilbert-Jocko Conservation Easement

It’s no secret that travelers of Highway 93, near Evaro, are treated to spectacular views of the Jocko Valley and surrounding Mission Mountains. Thanks to a conservation-minded couple, December saw 155-acre parcel of this priceless valley preserved in perpetuity. 

The easement offers stunning views of the surrounding Mission Mountains. Photo by Five Valleys staff.
The easement offers stunning views of the surrounding Mission Mountains. Photo by Five Valleys staff.

Susie Miller and Elon Gilbert have stewarded the land here for over 20 years. The Miller-Gilbert-Jocko conservation easement is bordered by protected or Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal lands, increasing its conservation value and providing habitat connectivity for the area’s vibrant wildlife, including eagles, black bears and grizzly bears. The land has long been used for agriculture and the National Resource Conservation Service deems 90% of the land as Prime if Irrigated. 

The property has historically been in use to raise hay and graze livestock. And the next generation will see that that tradition continues. Photo by FIve Valleys staff.
The property has historically been in use to raise hay and graze livestock. And the next generation will see that that tradition continues. Photo by Five Valleys staff.

Susie and Elon’s and young renters plan to continue the land’s agricultural traditions by raising hay and grazing livestock. The project was made possible by donations from the landowners, ensuring the land they have loved for so long will remain open space for the next generation.

Landowners Elon Gilbert and Susie Miller and Five Valleys' Pelah Hoyt at the easement's finalization celebration. Photo by Five Valleys staff.
Landowners Elon Gilbert and Susie Miller and Five Valleys' Pelah Hoyt at the easement's finalization celebration. Photo by Five Valleys staff.

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