Over the last few months, the Mount Dean Stone Committee, comprised of over 20 partnering organizations, businesses and agencies, has made steady headway towards complex-wide recreation and landscape stewardship plans. The Committee’s Natural Resources Working Group is collaborating with partners to gather information about the Mount Dean Stone lands and wildlife, including bird surveys with Five Valleys Audubon, plant surveys with the Montana Native Plant Society, and fisheries surveys with MPG Ranch, the US Forest Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The committee is also working to reduce the threat of wildfire and promote forest health through in-depth forestry assessments and timber thinning volunteer workdays. This data will be valuable for resource planning and management needs, and possible funding opportunities.
Efforts are underway to expand all abilities access at Little Park Creek and to improve the Inez Creek trailhead, both in the southern portion of the complex, in upper Miller Creek. These proposed developments include improved parking areas, wheelchair accessible gates, and a half-mile trail loop that will provide all abilities access to Miller Creek at Little Park Creek. In addition, Five Valleys staff are continuing efforts to create a connected corridor across the Mount Dean Stone ridge, between Pattee Canyon and Miller Creek. Read more about what 2019 has in store for the Mount Dean Stone project from the Missoula Current.
On June 2nd, nearly 80 community members came out to celebrate National Trails Day and explore the southern Mount Dean Stone landscape through trail runs, bike rides, a naturalist hike, a volunteer thinning project, and a celebration at Little Park Creek.
Thank you to the Mount Dean Stone Committee and attendees, and a special thanks to the following committee members and businesses who made the day possible: REI Co-op, Run Wild Missoula, MTB Missoula, The Nature Conservancy, MPG Ranch, onX, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Sapphire Physical Therapy, Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula Fresh Market, Montana Adventure Shuttle, Montana Natural History Center and Five on Black. Read more about it in the Missoula Current and download our new 2019 Mount Dean Stone Public Access Map.
• Downloading the 2019 Public Access Map and exploring the Mount Dean Stone landscape. Help advance the project by respecting private property boundaries and practicing good trail stewardship and etiquette. Paper copies of the 2019 Public Access Map are available in the Five Valleys office.
• Reporting community usage and wildlife observations (download the Mount Dean Stone wildlife poster), and providing feedback to Five Valleys Land Trust.
• Supporting the effort through a volunteer workday or making a donation.
• Put Saturday, September 29th on your calendar! The Mount Dean Stone Committee will once again be hosting a volunteer workday for National Public Lands Day 2019. Stay in the loop by signing up to receive volunteer opportunities emails.
The Mount Dean Stone project partner and business supporters:
Header photo by Five Valleys staff