by Whitney Schwab, Executive Director
This past year has been a season of amazing generosity, reflection, excitement, and community. It has been an honor to be a part of Five Valleys Land Trust during its 50th anniversary. The opportunity to connect with supporters young and old, veteran and new, has been inspiring. Hearing stories from those who founded this organization in 1972, and meeting new conservation easement landowners, new volunteers, and new donors has reinforced to me why we do this work.
Land unites us all. No matter your values or your interests, we all share our rivers and community open spaces. We all rely on agricultural lands and producers to put food on our tables. The ability to enjoy the sunset over an open vista, access open spaces near to home, or continue the traditions that connect us to the seasons, transcends our cultural, political, and social differences. The fact that a variety of people come to the same table to protect the lands we love and rely on makes the work of conservation a very special opportunity.
As we look ahead to a new year and a new half-century for Five Valleys, I am humbled by all our community has accomplished. I am also energized by the work underway. As you will read in the following pages, there is much to be excited about.
Winter offers us an opportunity to slow down. But Five Valleys is just getting started. Thanks to your amazing generosity, our Montana Forever Campaign is on the cusp of reaching its $4.5M goal. That fund will enable Five Valleys to not only complete the work ahead of us today, but also respond to the conservation challenges and opportunities that Western Montana is facing now and for decades to come.
Thank you for your time, your support, and your belief in Five Valleys. With you alongside us, we will leave an incredible natural legacy for Western Montana’s future generations.
Mission View conservation easement
Through the generosity of four families, Five Valley's 196th conservation easement located near Evaro, will connect both wildlife and people for generations to come.
50th Anniversary Celebration photo collage
In October, nearly 400 people came out to the Line Ranch to celebrate 50 years of conservation. From a dunk tank to a disco ball in the pole barn, it was a night we won't soon forget. Check out the photo collage!
From a distance, you’d have no idea that this patch of sunflowers at the Confluence is the stage for a gripping insect drama. A guest article by naturalist Shane Sater.
Bringing New Life to the Land, one Beaver Dam Analog At a Time
Beaver dams provide all sorts of benefits to both land and water. Thanks to a beaver dam analog project, the Peterson Angus Ranch will now benefit from better headwater storage - even without beavers themselves.
In partnership with Friends of Upper Rock Creek Historic District, we are working to ensure that this piece of living history endures at the Rock Creek Confluence.
Mount Dean Stone Winter Update
The upper parts of Dean Stone are now under a winter closure. While wildlife take their turn, we can reflect and celebrate a great 2022 field season.
Header photo of the 50th Anniversary Celebration by Anna Shreck