This summer was chock-full of events, planning and developments across Mount Dean Stone. In June, nearly 80 community members celebrated National Trails Day with us by participating in a variety of fun activities: trail runs, a mountain bike ride, a timber thinning project, a naturalist hike and a celebration at the Little Park Creek to cap off the day. Thank you to the community members, businesses and Mount Dean Stone Committee partners who helped to make it a great day spent on the land.
Over the summer, the Mount Dean Stone Committee was engaged in forestry assessments and wildlife surveys, which will inform future recreation and natural resource management plans. Five Valleys and the City of Missoula also completed a forest health improvement project on lands above the Barmeyer Trail.
In August, Five Valleys, REI, and MTB Missoula introduced University of Montana students to Mount Dean Stone over a three-day student orientation. Some of these students will be conducting their capstone projects on the mountain, providing a bright opportunity to educate the next generation of land stewards.
At the end of September, the Mount Dean Stone Committee held a workday and celebration in honor of National Public Lands Day. Nearly 70 volunteers braved a chilly day to help complete a new, all abilities ¼ mile loop trail along Miller Creek, across from the Little Park Creek trailhead.
This hardworking crew also pulled an impressive 1,000+ pounds of knapweed. Afterward, the group celebrated with lunch and drinks provided by REI, Missoula Fresh Market, Notorious P.I.G. and Big Sky Brewing Company. A special thanks to Dick Anderson Construction, Knife River, Shadow Asphalt and Western States Equipment for helping to make the project possible.
Looking ahead, Five Valleys is making progress on the land acquisitions that will one day connect the Barmeyer Trail to lands in Miller Creek, across the Mount Dean Stone ridge. With such a great season to build upon, we’re eagerly anticipating what 2020 has in store.
The Mount Dean Stone Committee project partners and business supporters:
Header photo by Geoff Sutton