The Vital Ground Foundation has secured a 160-acre conservation easement in the North Fork Valley, just a little ways north of Columbia Falls.
Here’s the lead-in from the official press release . . .
The Vital Ground Foundation announced today that it has secured a 160-acre conservation easement in the North Fork Flathead Valley of northwestern Montana, roughly five air miles southwest of Glacier National Park. The property is located between the Whitefish Range to the west and the Livingston Range to the east. A conservation easement is a perpetual agreement between a landowner and a land trust that limits future development of the land in order to protect its conservation values.
Focused on protecting habitat specific to the needs of the threatened grizzly bear, the Cedar Creek Conservation Easement is Vital Ground’s first project in this corner of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE). As development pressures from the growing community of Columbia Falls push into more remote and wild areas like the protected property, the easement will ensure the permanent protection of the property’s wildlife, riparian and open space values.
Read the entire press release . . .
Wouldn’t you know? The end of the year and the beginning of a new one brings yet another road article. This one isn’t about dust or potholes or snow removal, though. It seems that several sections of Flathead County roads, including the North Fork Road, do not actually have easements to cross state lands.
From the December 30, 2008 online edition of the Flathead Beacon . . .
Flathead County hasn’t fulfilled a nearly decade-old state Supreme Court ruling requiring Montana counties to pay full-market value for road easements across state trust lands, meaning the county – and the property owners who live on those roads – don’t have legal access.
In Flathead County, officials from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation estimate that there are at least 80 different segments of road – all of varying length – with unpaid easements. And hundreds of property owners could be affected.
“Anyone who lives on a road that crosses state trust land before their property, technically does not have legal access,” DNRC area manager Bob Sandman said. He added that it’s “unlikely that many people know” and that most will only find out when they try to sell.
Among the affected roads in Flathead County are frequented areas like Pleasant Valley Road, KM Ranch Road, North Fork Road, LaBrant Road, Jewel Basin Road and nine roads in the Happy Valley area.
Read the entire aricle . . .