See Other Values —Clean water is just one of the values land conservation protects in perpetuity. See how our work protects other popular values:
Nothing about where we are today would be the same without family farms and ranches. They protect open space, help keep water clean, put healthy food on our table and provide us with a generational history that inspires and humbles. At Five Valleys Land Trust, we’re proud to call these families our partners. And we’re proud that our work provides them with an opportunity to continue working the land. Western Montana would be a poorer place without them.Become a Member
To date, we’ve protected some 6,000 miles of rivers and streams by protecting land through conservation easements. Without our members, that number would be zero.
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To date, we’ve protected more than 150 families exercise their right to protect their family places through conservation easments. Without our members, that number would be zero.
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Ranching through five generations:
Family farms and ranches provide the hard-working backbone for western Montana’s treasured landscape. Well-managed family lands have put food on our tables, money in our local economy, and preserved critical open spaces for generations. They are as much a part of the Montana landscape as high mountain ridges, broad river valleys, and big skies.
Beyond the tangible benefits, those farms and ranches provide a sense that history is alive here, bound by the traditions and values of rolled up sleeves, sweat-stained hats, and daily connection to the land. For families that toil on those places and pass them down through generations the land is priceless, and ever more in peril of disappearing from the landscape.
While nature's pace can replenish fertile topsoil that gets scraped from beneath fingernails before suppertime, it cannot compete with bulldozers. Prime farmland is often prime development land—flat, with deep, rich soil—and with growing demand, much of the richest agricultural soil is being converted to residential and commercial uses. Five Valleys Land Trust makes it a high priority to work with families determined to preserve the working landscape and the traditions it supports.
The Iversons, long-time ranchers in the Potomac Valley, decided to make sure their family land would endure as a productive and healthy agricultural operation, available for future generations of Iversons to continue the storied and worthy tradition. When Denny Iverson approached Five Valleys, he echoed a common concern in rural communities across western Montana, “The Potomac Valley is in jeopardy of being carved up, of losing its productivity. We don’t want that to happen to our place… not for us or for our kids.” That’s why the Iversons chose to work with Five Valleys, Missoula County and the federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program to craft a purchased easement that ensure the continued viability of the operation, protect important soils, wildlife habitat, and scenic open space.
Examples of Five Valleys' commitment to protecting family farms and ranches include: