When I first saw the beautiful cover for our 2017 Annual Report, I wondered if you, our members, have a sense of the diversity of our projects and services, and the many ways our work touches the lives of those in our service area. As supporters of Five Valleys Land Trust, you know that we hold conservation easements as well as own properties that permanently protect thousands of acres of land in our service area. You likely also know that each year Five Valleys’ staff visit all of our easements, working with landowners to support their best practices and stewarding our easements. Many of you can even identify specific projects that speak to you, that cause you to continue making Five Valleys Land Trust a priority when you give your time and money.
I hope that as you explore this year’s Annual Report, you’ll find new reasons to be proud of your support of Five Valleys. In addition to continuing our conservation work through easements, we have increased the ways in which the public can connect with our natural world. Whether it’s providing the community of Lincoln with its first public access point to the Blackfoot River, supporting recreational opportunities for hundreds of children, professional mountain bikers, and everyone in between on our Marshall Mountain property, or hearing from veterans, school children, and college students about all they are learning at our Rock Creek Confluence property, our work is pushing boundaries, and ensuring, through education and experiences, that our community continues to value conservation.
As we look to the future, we are thrilled by the possibilities created by the Mount Dean Stone project. When complete, the project will create vital recreational opportunities, while preserving important wildlife habitat, and protecting viewsheds for the valley below. The new partnerships that have been forged to make this project a reality speak to the value our community places on open space, and inspires us daily to achieve all that we can in the name of conservation.
Thank you for all that you do to support Five Valleys Land Trust. I am both gratified and humbled to serve as the Board President of an organization that is so well loved, and that accomplishes so much for our community. Please enjoy the story of 2017 contained in these pages, and know that none of this work would be possible without you.
--JULIE GARDNER, BOARD PRESIDENT
Young conservationist at the Lincoln Community River Park. Photo by Five Valleys staff