See Other Values —Clean water is just one of the values land conservation protects in perpetuity. See how our work protects other popular values:
People here are not couch potatoes. We fish, float, hike, paddle, cycle and hunt. And why not? Western Montana offers remarkable access to stunning open spaces. At Five Valleys Land Trust, many of our most satisfying projects have resulted in more public access to pursue the activities we all love. From extending the Hiawatha Trail to securing the backside of Mount Sentinel to protecting the Alberton Gorge, our work ensures you have places to play.Become a Member
To date, we’ve been instrumental in dozens projects that protect important public access. Without our members, that number would be zero.
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Throughout the year, we offer many opportunities to support our work, from our annual banquet to occasional land tours.
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For all to enjoy
On any summer weekend flotillas of colorful rafts and inner-tubes carry Montanans of all ages bobbing down our wild, free flowing rivers for the sheer joy of it. In fall, the ancient rites of autumn call hunters to the hills and marshes in search of game. In winter, skiers, snowmobilers and ice-fishing enthusiasts flock to the slopes, to quiet trails and to frozen lakes partaking in the special pleasures of the winter landscape. Come spring, hikers climb the trails laid bare by receding snows. Bird watchers thrill to the return of trumpeter swans, the chance to admire nesting bald eagles from a safe distance, and the busy work of lazuli buntings among the hawthorne thickets that crowd into the narrow draws seaming south facing open slopes.
Outdoor recreation is part of the living, breathing fabric of our communities and our lives in western Montana. Kids grow up fishing the rivers, skiing the slopes, and hiking the trails, all activities that provide lifetime enjoyment. Over time, outdoor recreation has also become a principal driver of many local economies.
Five Valleys Land Trust, from its beginning as the Five Valleys River Park Association, has worked to protect, enhance, and enable opportunities for all to enjoy the wonder of the natural world. The early vision of an interlocking system of public open spaces and trails has blossomed into the hugely popular riverfront park and trail network that now reaches from downtown Missoula to the edge of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, and is soon to extend to the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers.
Five Valleys purchased private lands in peril of residential development along an 8-mile reach of the Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River, and in concert with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks established a state park that preserves one of our region’s most popular recreational experiences. The whitewater trip through the Gorge thrills tens of thousands of recreationists annually, not only because of the challenging rapids, but also due to the breathtaking beauty that comes with a journey through a landscape that tells a story that goes as far back as the ice ages.
Five Valleys is proud of its work with agencies and communities to protect local and regional recreational resources such as: