Trumbull Creek conservation easement finalized

Congratulations to everyone, including the Stoltze company, who worked to make this happen . . .

A $9.5 million, 7,068-acre conservation easement has been finalized for the Trumbull Creek area north of Columbia Falls, the Trust for Public Land and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Park announced Friday.

The land-use agreement for the property, owned by Stoltze Land & Lumber Co., permanently bars commercial and residential development, while allowing timber management and public recreational use to continue. Stoltze contributed to the cost of the easement by donating a portion of the land value. The majority of the $9.5 million came from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, Forest Legacy Program and Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.

“It really has high resource values,” Trust for Public Land Northern Rockies Director Dick Dolan said in an interview. He added that the land includes grizzly bear and Canadian lynx habitat, and serves as the headwaters for bull trout spawning areas.

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