News

Ski for Stewardship

We at Five Valleys talk a lot about stewardship. But what is stewardship?

Conservation and stewardship go hand-in-hand. Conservation is the momentous, one-time act that protects a place. Stewardship is care that ensures that that place will continue to be protected, forever.

Five Valleys stewards over 80,000 privately-owned acres. As the land passes from one owner to the next, Five Valleys is there to ensure that the land remains healthy and intact. We do this by building strong relationships with our conservation easement landowners, providing them stewardship resources and information, and visiting each of our 200 conservation easements at least once per year. At the same time, we steward the properties we own-- the Rock Creek Confluence, the Lincoln Community River Park, and Marshall Mountain--in order to complete land restoration, engage and educate our community, enhance wildlife habitat, and cultivate public access.

At its core, stewardship is a labor of love. Every time you move a branch off a trail, or pick up after your dog on a hike, that’s stewardship. Helping to restore a stream bank? Stewardship. Pulling weeds? Stewardship. Giving to the organizations that help protect and provide the lands you love? That’s supporting stewardship.

Help support stewardship and celebrate winter in western Montana during Ski for Stewardship!

How it works:

• Register today

• Nordic ski between February 1-14th at one of three great area courses, or your favorite place to go

• Tag Five Valleys in an Instagram or Facebook post about your XC adventure

Be entered to win a classic or skate ski set up from MTCX!

Congrats to the winner of our MTCX ski package winner, Melissa Matassa-Stone!

The first 100 registrants will also get a sweet Ski for Stewardship headband. There will also be stickers and other goodies hidden on each course - can you collect them all?

Not a big social media user? Email your photos to Katy at katy@fvlt.org and we'll share them for you!

Courses

Our partner Shaun Radley at MTCX has worked up routes at three great area XC courses. Try one, or try them all! Are you a BadWax member? Check your inbox for special instructions from Shaun.

Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Trails

Seeley Lake 7.4km "Bear Tree Loop" route map (route in yellow)

Directions to Seeley Lake Nordic Trails

General information and grooming report

Look for stickers hidden behind Junction sign 19!

Echo Lake Nordic Ski Trails

Echo Lake 6.6km "Flurry Challenge" route map (route in yellow)

Directions to Echo Lake Trails

General information and grooming report

Look for stickers at the right turn on to Flurry Loop!

Lubrecht Experimental Forest Nordic Ski Trails

Lubrecht 2.9km "Rancher Loop C" route map (route in yellow)

Directions to Lubrecht Experimental Forest

General information and grooming report

Look for stickers behind the rancher shed!

Huge thank you to Shaun Radley and MTCX, the members of the Missoula Nordic Ski Club, the Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club, and the Echo Lake Trails Association for their tireless love and stewardship of the XC Nordic ski trails that enable our community to get outside and enjoy our landscape. Stewardship has long been baked into the heart of the Nordic ski culture. Club volunteers are the ones grooming trails before dawn, clearing downed trees, and organizing events. Love your local Nordic trails? Please respect local rules and guidelines, and consider joining, supporting, or volunteering for one of these fantastic local clubs.

Header photo courtesy of Forrest Boughner

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