(122) stories found containing 'the nature conservancy'

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  • Blackfoot Challenge summer stewardship happenings

    Jennifer Schoonen, Blackfoot Challenge Director of Communications and Fund Development|May 23, 2024

    Summer brings the field season for Blackfoot Challenge program staff - teaming up with landowners, state and federal partners and fellow conservation organizations to make hay while the sun shines. From new electric fences to piles of biochar, here are a few updates on Blackfoot community stewardship work happening around the watershed. Education In spring and fall, school-based education events are in full swing. In May, Challenge staff took part in an all-day bear-aware event for Seeley Lake...

  • Reflecting on the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area

    Gayla Nicholson, Protect the Clearwater|Apr 11, 2024

    While researching the history of the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area (Game Range), local nonprofit Protect the Clearwater (PTC) found an article written by Jay Kolbe in 2007. Kolbe was the Wildlife Management Area Manager and Wildlife Biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) for the area at that time. PTC feels this article highlights the critical role the Game Range plays and is worth reprinting. When the Clearwater Resource Council met this summer to identify some of...

  • Keeping winter activities alive

    Garry Swain|Mar 14, 2024

    The winter of 2023/2024 brought a ton of sunshine and blue skies to Seeley Lake, and it also brought a ton of challenges for the ROCKS team as we struggled to keep our winter recreational areas functional and fun. No strangers to adversity, we who rely so heavily on the weather, everyone persevered. While our winter activities looked a wee bit different from normal years, we skated and we skied whenever we could. As we maintained the yurt with the Nordic Ski Club, we marveled at the ingenuity with which they forged ahead with a paltry amount...

  • Forestry tour displays Ovando habitat restoration project

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Sep 7, 2023

    Meeting under the Boot Tree outside of Ovando, tour participants looked through a forest managed for health and wildlife habitat on the Blackfoot Community Conservation Area. Abundant grass grew amongst trees with up to six foot diameter trunks and visibility up to 100 yards. Soon the tour caravaned to the perimeter of the Type One treatment unit. Visibility through the forest was limited at the edge of the road as the sunlight was strangled by a dense screen of ladder fuels. As part of the...

  • Active management will help with wildfires

    The Nature Conservancy|Sep 7, 2023

    As summer begins to wrap up here in Western Montana, we are all doing what we can to soak up the warmer weather before fall sets in. Whether you’re fishing along the Blackfoot, hiking in the Mission Mountains, or just getting outdoors in general, Montana summers are a brief and coveted time of year for our part of the world. While the summer provides a lot of opportunities to experience all that the Seeley Swan has to offer, it usually brings one unpleasant, unavoidable experience: wildfire. This year, however, we seem to have gotten lucky. L...

  • Blackfoot Management strategies: informing direction in the 2024 statewide fisheries management plan

    Patrick Uthe, fisheries biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks|Aug 24, 2023

    Wild trout management is a cornerstone of fisheries management in Montana. Here in the Blackfoot, a primary focus of our river and stream management program is native, wild trout. The Blackfoot has a long history of habitat restoration with an emphasis on native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Actions that benefit these species also improve habitat conditions for nonnative trout that represent an extremely popular and important component of sport fishing opportunity. Several key elements of our management portfolio in these popular...

  • The power of partnership

    Mike Schaedel, The Nature Conservancy|May 11, 2023

    As winter stubbornly makes its exit, many of us are busy making plans for summer adventures. The wealth of public land that surrounds our community means we don’t have to go too far afield to enjoy the great outdoors and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is happy to have played a part in ensuring our access to some of those places. Most recently, we completed an exciting two-phase transfer of approximately 11,000 acres of land on Game Ridge, above Nine Mile Prairie - stretching from Dunnigan Gulch t... Full story

  • More than 6,500 acres along Blackfoot River purchased by BLM

    Bureau of Land Management|Dec 29, 2022

    The public now has access to more high-quality hunting and hiking in western Montana, as the Bureau of Land Management has just acquired more than 6,500 acres along the Blackfoot River. These 6,576 acres mark the second and final phase in the Ninemile-Woodchuck parcel acquisition that began earlier this year. The BLM’s Missoula Field Office has now added a total of 37,000 acres of former private timber land in the Blackfoot Watershed in a years-long project working with The Nature Conservancy and using $9,863,000 of funding from the Land and W...

  • Machine being tested could replace slash fires

    Bebe Crouse, The Nature Conservancy|Dec 1, 2022

    By Bebe Crouse The Nature Convervancy You may have seen a strange piece of machinery being towed through the area recently. It looks like a rail car-size dumpster mounted on tank treads. It's called a Tigercat Carbonator. It has nothing to do with producing fizzy beverages, but it will turn the woody slash piles left after forest thinning into a charcoal-like amendment that helps soil hold onto moisture and nutrients. The Nature Conservancy, public agencies and private landowners have experiment...

  • Biochar benefits studied in the Blackfoot Valley

    Jean Pocha, Pathfinder Correspondent|Nov 10, 2022

    By Jean Pocha, Pathfinder Correspondent GOLD CREEK Emerging technology and forest product utilization was the focus of the forest tour in the Gold Creek area Oct. 25. More than two dozen people observed the Tigercat Carbonator 6050 make biochar out of slash piles as part of forest thinning and fuels reduction work done on land managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service and private landowners. Land managers discussed biochar production in the...

  • Creating a working landscape for all

    Jennifer Schoonen, Blackfoot Challenge|Sep 15, 2022

    As passersby take in the Blackfoot watershed's forests, waterways and wildlife, many have no idea that a unique concept to benefit all community members came to life in the heart of the watershed – with the creation of a community forest known as the Blackfoot Community Conservation Area (BCCA). Back in 2003, recognizing the increasing potential for habitat fragmentation, the Blackfoot Challenge and The Nature Conservancy initiated a large-scale land acquisition effort known as the Blackfoot C...

  • SWCC tour explores forest restoration, wildlife management

    Haley Yarborough, Pathfinder|Jul 28, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - The Clearwater Resource Council (CRC) and the US Forest Service joined the Southwestern Crown Collaborative (SWCC) for a Seeley Field Tour on July 20. The SWCC brings together citizens, businesses, government agencies and conservation organizations to consider creative solutions in the management of National Forests in the Blackfoot, Clearwater and Swan River valleys. SWCC began meeting regularly in July of 2009 in response to the creation of the Collaborative Forest Landscape...

  • Ramping up for summer work on TNC lands

    Bebe Crouse, The Nature Conservancy in Montana|Jun 23, 2022

    Summer is upon us and that means Nature Conservancy crews are deep into their season of fieldwork but we haven't been idle over the winter and spring. We were excited to complete the first leg of a two-part sale of land in the Ninemile/Woodchuck area to the Bureau of Land Management. The first 4,600 acres were transferred in April and we expect to close soon on an additional 6,400 acres bringing the total to 11,000 acres permanently conserved for public use. Lots of numbers, but the bottom line...

  • Rising to the challenge, setting an example

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 26, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - "We are trying to clean up the school forest to protect it from future wildfires," Seeley-Swan High School senior Walker McDonald said. "We are looking to use this as an example for the community and a standard and try to get motivation throughout our community to clean up their property. We know how wildfires have been in the area and we know it is only going to get worse." McDonald along with six other students in Gretchen Watkins' chemistry class won the 2021-2022 RISE Challenge...

  • Creating a vision for Placid Lake State Park and surrounding area

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 5, 2022

    PLACID LAKE – Around 20 people gathered near Placid Lake April 28 to discuss recreational use and management in and around Placid Lake. This conversation between members of the public, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) initiated the conversation that FWP and TNC hopes will lead to a collaborative vision for the park and neighboring lands that meets current and future needs. The public is encouraged to provide their comments and feedback by May 31 via the project w...

  • Camas rejuvenation in the Blackfoot Valley

    Jean Pocha|May 5, 2022

    BLACKFOOT VALLEY – Remnant populations of common camas (Camassia quamash) tell a story of bygone days. History tells that many of the seasonally wet meadows and forest edges in and around the Blackfoot Valley were once home to hundreds, if not thousands of acres of common camas plants. Due to the historical and cultural significance of the camas plant to the Salish, Pend O'reille and Kootenai tribes, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are working with the C...

  • FWP and TNC begin discussing recreation vision for Placid Lake State Park and adjacent lands

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Apr 21, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE — Staff from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are working together to begin a recreation visioning process for Placid Lake State Park and adjacent TNC lands, located just southwest of the town of Seeley Lake. They are asking for public input early in the process to help understand current issues and priorities and to generate ideas for the future of the area. For decades, Placid Lake State Park has provided the only public access to the lake, a popular spot for camping, boating, swimming and f...

  • BLM purchases 4,600 acres from TNC

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 14, 2022

    GREENOUGH – Last week the Bureau of Land Management purchased 4,600 acres in the Ninemile/Woodchuck area. This purchase is part of a years-long cooperative effort with The Nature Conservancy to secure public access on former industrial timber lands throughout the Blackfoot River watershed. "These lands will provide for opportunities for continued access for public recreation, access to sacred areas and other important areas for tribes and forest management for multiple benefits including r...

  • Northern Pacific Railroad's influence on the Upper Swan Valley

    Sharon and Steve Lamar, Upper Swan Valley Historical Society|Mar 17, 2022

    Editor's Note: Part I, run in the March 10 issue, highlighted the start of the Northern Pacific Railroad's influence on the Upper Swan Valley through the early 1900's. Although the upper Swan Valley was primarily settled by homesteaders staking claims on United States Forest Service (USFS) lands, some settlers purchased Northern Pacific (NP) lands for as low as $1.25 an acre, usually in 80- or 160-acre parcels. The Haasch family who homesteaded a USFS parcel later bought an additional 160 acres...

  • Fostering partnerships in 2022

    Chris Bryant, The Nature Conservancy|Jan 6, 2022

    The New Year is a natural time for reflection and looking ahead. We hope you had a great holiday with your family and friends, and that you had time do just that. As I reflect on 2021, I am encouraged by the growing partnerships of people who share a common desire to live, work and play in the forested lands in our part of the world. Given some of the challenges we face, such as the rising numbers of people recreating in the woods, the intensity of wildfires across the West and the complexity of ecologically sound and economically realistic for...

  • Management of the Swan Legacy Forest

    Mike Mayernik, Swan Valley Connections|Dec 2, 2021

    The smell of freshly cut limbs and trees wafts through the air as I walk through the project area. The low hum of the harvester, a large and impressive piece of logging equipment, works right over the hill. This is the first of what I, and Swan Valley Connections (SVC), hope to be many forest stewardship and restoration projects on the Swan Legacy Forest that can be used to engage students and other landowners by demonstrating examples of stewardship and property management. Swan Legacy Forest...

  • New trail connects Lake View Trail to Tuppers Lake

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Oct 28, 2021

    PLACID LAKE – This past week, the Montana Conservation Corps and Seeley Lake ROCKS volunteers connected the Lake View Trail near the west end of Placid Lake to Tuppers Lake. This is another link in the Placid Lake Trails that ROCKS has been working on for the past several years. ROCKS worked in close coordination with The Nature Conservancy and MCC to build the connector trail. While it is less than a tenth of a mile, the entire connector was put in by hand which included digging a ditch. The p...

  • Betting on biochar in Bonner

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Oct 21, 2021

    On a 159-acre working forestland east of Bonner, Dave Atkins' personal and professional interests overlap. There, in a stand of dry conifer forest populated with ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and the occasional western larch, Atkins tinkers with forest management techniques he's learned over the past half-century in an effort to better equip his property for the changing conditions of the next 100 years. Now retired, Atkins had a long career with the U.S. Forest Service that spanned several... Full story

  • Enjoying the present and looking ahead

    The Nature Conservancy Staff|Jul 1, 2021

    Summer is in full bloom. Across the West, our natural areas are experiencing unprecedented visitation. With things opening up and more people traveling farther from home, this trend is only expected to increase. Montana’s forestlands are no exception. Higher numbers of campers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts will have an impact on our lands and the wildlife that depend on them. We remind everyone to treat the landscape respectfully and follow posted regulations. Watch out for those campfires, stay on the trail and please pack out what y...

  • Loon & Fish Art Show and Festival returns

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|May 6, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - After taking a year off due to COVID-19, Alpine Artisans, Inc.'s (AAI) Loon and Fish Art Show and Festival will return for 2021 with a new date. Instead of taking place Memorial Day weekend, the festival will instead take place from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 in the Seeley Lake Community Foundation Building. AAI Program Manager Jenny Rohrer said they attempted to change the date last year to late July but because it was canceled they set it a...

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