Voluntary Land Conservation

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Landowner testimonials

"My grandfather was proud to have put this property together and he once said to me 'don't let go of this place. It's one of the most beautiful there is.' THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT A CONSERVATION EASEMENT SHOULD DO."
      - Pondera County landowner

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Montana land trusts have joined with private landowners to conserve over one million acres in the state since 1976. These conserved lands have helped maintain working farms and ranches, protect water quality, protect wildlife habitat and retain and enhance the character and traditions that make Montana such an attractive place to live, work and recreate.

Montana Association of land trusts

Land trusts are private, independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit organizations that have been conserving private lands in the U.S. for generations. In 2005, land trusts in Montana formed the Montana Association of Land Trusts.

Land trusts have one primary mission: to conserve private lands. They work with landowners to protect valuable open lands, wildlife habitat, recreational lands, scenic properties, historical lands and help keep working landscapes in the hands of farmers and ranchers.

Subdivisions now stand where hay once grew, where cows once grazed, where a large barn once stood, where elk once gathered, where upland birds once nested, where people once walked or hiked. In Montana, farm and ranchlands are threatened by residential and commercial development as never before in state history. There is an essential need, not to limit population or economic growth but as growth occurs, to protect river corridors, open landscapes, ranchlands, wildlife habitat and historic areas - the values that make Montana so special.

Land trusts all have some attributes in common, but each land trust in Montana has its own priorities, focus, mission and goals. The following are the members of the Montana Association of Land Trusts:

- Prickly Pear Land Trust, Helena
- Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Bozeman
- The Trust for Public Land, Bozeman
- Flathead Land Trust, Kalispell
- Montana Land Reliance, Helena
- Five Valleys Land Trust, Missoula
- Bitter Root Land Trust, Hamilton
- The Conservation Fund, Missoula
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Missoula
- The Vital Ground Foundation, Missoula
- The Nature Conservancy of Montana, Helena
- Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Conservancy

For more information, visit www.montanalandtrusts.org