Thursday, January 31, 2013

TFOL-Funded Project Featured in Helena

Congratulations to Prickly Pear Land Trust for finalizing the Aspen Trails proposal in the north Helena Valley. Travelers for Open Land help fund this project, which helps an "internationally renowned" cattle operation, provides public access to Prickly Pear Creek and conserves open land.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

TFOL Part of Tourism Advisory Committee Agenda

Thanks to the Montana Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) for scheduling a Travelers for Open Land presentation at the TAC meeting in Helena next week. We're looking forward to the opportunity to provide an update on 2012 Travelers for Open Land progress.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TFOL Awards $88,000 to Montana Land Trusts

Travelers for Open Land enjoyed its best year ever in 2012 and last week awarded $88,000 to fund six Montana private land conservation projects. Since it was launched in 2009, Travelers for Open Land has awarded $148,365 to help fund 20 land conservation projects throughout Montana.
“We had a very impressive group of grant applications this year, and were pleased to fully fund all six applications,” said Mike Scholz, founder of Travelers for Open Land, owner of Buck’s T-4 Lodge and a hospitality industry leader. “The projects we helped fund showcase excellent examples of Montana land conservation efforts and included wetlands protection, enhanced recreational access opportunities, conservation of historic and traditional working ranches, lakeshore protection at Flathead Lake, wildlife habitat protection and more.”
Here is a brief summary of the six projects approved for funding by the Travelers for Open Land Advisory Committee:
The Nature Conservancy of Helena received $20,000 to help fund a 580-acre conservation easement project in the Big Hole Valley. The project conserves a working ranch that includes a stream corridor containing arctic grayling.
Prickly Pear Land Trust received $18,365 to help fund a conservation easement and additional recreational access as part of the 266-acre Aspen Trails proposal in the North Helena Valley. The project enjoys significant local support, protects a wetland area and has several partners cooperating on the project.
Five Valleys Land Trust in Missoula will receive $15,000 to help fund a 2,278-acre conservation easement in the Mission Valley on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The project conserves an important wildlife corridor, valuable soils and a traditional working ranch.                             
Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman will receive $15,000 to help fund a hiking trail and conservation easement project near Big Sky. The project features a large number of private and public partners and would expand outdoor recreational opportunities in Big Sky. 
The Bitter Root Land Trust in Hamilton will receive $10,000 to help fund a conservation easement on a historic 1,080-acre ranch in the Bitterroot Valley. The project protects existing recreational access, enjoys local support and has a connection to noted Montana artist Charlie Russell. 
Flathead Land Trust in Kalispell will receive a $10,000 grant to help fund a 190-acre conservation easement on the North Shore of Flathead Lake. The project features protection of wetlands and waterfowl habitat and is part of the Flathead’s River to Lake Initiative.  
“Travelers for Open Land has come a long way since we launched the program in 2009,” said Stuart Doggett of the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association. “The Montana tourism industry had a very good year in 2012 and one of the key goals of the TFOL program is to recognize the value of open lands to the Montana tourism industry and also recognize the value of the tourism industry to Montana’s economy.”
“Open land is an economic asset to Montana, and Travelers for Open Land is starting to make some meaningful contributions to our landscape, our economy and quality of life,” said Glenn Marx of the Montana Association of Land Trusts.
When visitors stay or shop at a business property participating in Travelers for Open Land, they’re asked to make a small donation in support of the program. Over 30 business properties collected more than $100,000 and contributed those as donations in 2012. These funds came from hotels, dude ranches, bed and breakfasts, outfitters with lodging, fly fishing shops, rafting companies and other tourism-related properties and businesses as well as a generous donation from the Rapier Family Foundation of Big Sky. The funds are awarded as grants to land trusts through a competitive grant program.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trust for Public Land Says Thanks

Deb Love of The Trust for Public Land thanks Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester for their help on the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other issues.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

TFOL Hires New Project Coordinator


Travelers for Open Land is happy to announce the hiring of Kelli Butenko as the part-time TFOL project coordinator. 
Kelli is also the part-time events and outreach coordinator for Prickly Pear Land Trust, where she works to increase membership and the visibility of the organization through marketing and events. She plans PPLT's Harvest Moon Banquet and Auction and the Don't Fence Me In trail run, along with coordinating their newsletter, Facebook, website, and other marketing efforts.

Kelli grew up on a dairy farm in Washington state and has lived in Helena for 10 years.  She takes full advantage of Helena's trails on foot, mountain bike, snowshoes and skis.

She'll be picking up where Katie Boland left off in promoting the Travelers for Open Land program throughout the state.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thanks for the Support!

Thanks to Wild Trout Outfitters in Big Sky, Magpie Guest House in Bozeman, and Big Sky Taxi for their recent contributions to Travelers for Open Land. Thanks to businesses like these, TFOL had it's best year ever in 2012!

TNC Ends 2012 on Positive Note

The Nature Conservancy closed three 2012 projects in three different areas of the state - in northeastern Montana, in the Big Hole Valley and on western Montana.