Caring for the Land
Connecting Our Community

2019 Annual Report

Lands ProtectedLands We OwnCommunityFinancials

A message from the Board President

We are proud to present Five Valleys’ 2019 Annual Report. This past year, we worked with landowners across the landscape to protect key working lands, wildlife habitat, and community open spaces. We upheld our commitment to steward both our private easements and the lands we own at Marshall Mountain, the Rock Creek Confluence, and the Lincoln Community River Park. Our projects connected thousands of community members to the land and engaged hundreds of volunteers.

We could not have done this without you: our donors, landowners, partners, and volunteers. As we navigate the challenges presented by the 2020 pandemic, land conservation and access are as vital as ever. Thank you for your dedication to Five Valleys and to conservation in western Montana.

- Jeff Roth, President, Board of Directors


Core Values

To protect for future generations western Montana’s natural legacy – our river corridors, wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, and community open spaces.
Vision — We believe in taking a long term, strategic approach to enhancing our community through conservation.

Excellence — We strive to develop and maintain outstanding volunteers and staff and to build sound and efficient systems that deliver quality conservation work.

Integrity — We are principled, ethical, and transparent in our approach to delivering meaningful and tangible benefits to our community.

Cooperation — Excellence requires focus on our strengths; to be versatile we build strong complimentary teams that can accomplish more than one focused person or organization could.

Patience — We know that great outcomes for enduring conservation might take time and we willingly make that investment.

2019 Lands Protected

In 2019, we worked with families across western Montana to conserve working lands and agricultural soils, connected wildlife habitat, and to protect future community open spaces. Read more about these families and their lands:

Left: The Isbell sisters, by Cathrine L. Walters. Right: Randy Peterson and Interim Executive Director Greg Tollefson, by Five Valleys staff.


Five Valleys was awarded an accreditation renewal from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in fall 2019. Accreditation provides independent verification that a land trust meets the high standards for land conservation, stewardship and nonprofit management. Five Valleys was among the first land trusts in the nation to be accredited in 2008, and we received our first accreditation renewal in 2014. Read more.

Community Open Spaces We Own

In addition to our private conservation easements, Five Valleys owns and stewards three properties for public access or future community open space. Learn more about these special properties that are providing places for people to recreate, learn, and connect with land and each other:

Access For All

Five Valleys is committed to expanding access for all to more places in western Montana. We held two volunteer workdays at the Rock Creek Confluence to maintain and enhance the 1/3 mile trail universal trail there. In September, 75 volunteers joined us to build the first ever universal trail on Mount Dean Stone, at Little Park Creek. And we're just getting started.

Left: National Public Lands Day volunteers, by Geoff Sutton. Right: Big Sky Brewing Company Summer Concert Series volunteers, by Geoff Sutton.

2019 Financial Report

In 2019 Five Valleys’ annual operating expenses totaled $1,331,831 and our operating income totaled $1,395,101.

Additional expenditures were made for purchases of land, conservation easements, or investments in improvements that enhanced habitat or public access to conserved lands. The allocation of all funds used is shown in the table and chart to the left titled 2019 Use of Funds.

The total assets of Five Valleys are shown on the far left in the table and chart titled 2019 Assets by Purpose. Conservation lands are those lands held for short term durations to accomplish a conservation outcome. Examples include lands that we have purchased and are holding as part of our Mount Dean Stone project, as well as Marshall Mountain. Stewardship lands are those lands held and managed for long term purposes to create access or habitat, or educational experiences in the communities we serve. Examples include the Rock Creek Confluence and Lincoln Community River Park.

Five Valleys has an additional endowment that is held and managed by the Montana Community Foundation. The balance of that endowment at year end was $282,632.

Five Valleys annually undergoes an independent financial audit. For additional details please see our IRS Form 990 which is available on our website via

*Numbers presented are unaudited.
View our 2019 donors and supporters

Thank you to the supporters who help us Protect western Montana's Natural Legacy