Gone But Not Forgotten: Bruce Malcom’s Lasting Legacy of Conservation

The Malcolm Conservation Easement was established in 1995 in partnership with Bruce and Connie Malcolm. The easement protects over a hundred acres of productive agricultural land and floodplain along a scenic one mile stretch of the Yellowstone River just upstream of Emigrant, MT in the Paradise Valley. Bruce and Connie grew up in ranching families that owned large cattle ranches in several locations around Emigrant and into the upper reaches of Tom Miner Basin. Their home place on the Yellowstone River was so special that they couldn’t bear to think that houses would be built on the banks of the river. The Malcolm easement will ensure that floaters, fly fishermen, and travelers on their way to Yellowstone Park will always enjoy unobstructed views of the scenic and wild Yellowstone River.

We all lost a pioneering conservationist and committed rancher last month when 80 year-old Bruce said his final good-byes. His legacy will be recounted for many years to come in Park County, and the public will be able to enjoy the scenic Yellowstone in perpetuity thanks to Bruce. Ranchers have a deep respect for the land, this was apparent when you met and talked to Bruce about the Paradise Valley. Unfortunately ranching life in the “Paradise Valley” has a host of threats and issues that make it difficult to say the least; Bruce was on the ground and helped to find consensus around many of these intractable natural resource issues including; brucellosis, wolves, too many and too few elk at different times, and the incessant lack of water in drought years. Bruce and Connie’s legacy will live on in perpetuity and so will the land stewardship ethic they shared with all they encountered—Thanks Bruce!

Bruce’s Obituary:

Bruce Malcom- Died Saturday, Junary 28, 2017

Lifelong Paradise Valley rancher Robert Bruce Malcolm, 80,
died Saturday, Jan. 28, at home, with his wife, Connie, at his
side. Bruce was born on Dec. 16, 1936, to Alexander A.
“Sandy” Malcolm and Elizabeth “Bess” (Brockman)
Malcolm. His early life was spent exploring the home ranch
on Mill Creek and learning the life skills of agriculture and
animal husbandry. He attended Upper Mill Creek School and
Park County High School, graduating in 1955; and graduated
Montana State College Bozeman with a degree in Ag
Economics in 1960. Bruce returned home to the ranch on
Mill Creek. He and his brother, Phil, ran Mile Hi Ranch and
worked with Montana State College developing individual
production records on their cow herd. On Oct. 30, 1972,
Bruce married Connie Merrell. They have two children, Chad
Malcolm and Sandra (Jim) Morgan.

Bruce and Connie ran an outfitting company for 25 years.
Bruce loved telling stories from those days of tracking bull
elk and spotting for elusive bighorn rams. Among his very
few regrets was that he wished he’d taken one more
horseback trip.

While congestive heart failure ended his life at 80, his very
strong spiritual heart lives on in the community. Up until
recent months he was the Senior Warden of St. John
Episcopal Church in Emigrant, where he was a lifelong member.
He dedicated 30 years to the Park County
Conservation District, was a leader of Paradise
Experimenters 4-H Club, president of the 4-H Council,
founding member of the Park County Jaycees and a member
of the Montana Outfitter and Guides Association. Bruce
enjoyed the challenges he encountered as a member of the
State Wolf Advisory Board, developing wolf policy for the
State of Montana. His greatest honor was to have served the
state and its people as a Montana State Legislator from 2001
through 2006.

Besides his wife of 44 years, Connie, Bruce is also survived
by his son, Chad, of west of Livingston, and daughter and sonin-
law, Sandy and Jim Morgan of Bridger and five
grandchildren; brother, Phil, of Cokedale; innumerable close
friends; and two wonderful dogs who kept him smiling
during his long decline at home. Bruce was preceded in death
by grandson, Tyler Malcolm, sister-in-law, Sharon Malcolm
and cousin, Connie Riecke.

A  memorial service will be held at St. John Church, 8 Story
Rd., Emigrant, at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3, with the Rev.
David Gunderson officiating. Coffee and snacks follow at the
nearby Emigrant Hall. Bruce stipulated that his ashes be
strewn over a scenic high point on his ranch. The family asks
that anyone who wishes may donate in his name to St. John
Friendship Fund, which helps those in need in Paradise
Valley and beyond. Send to St. John Church, PO Box 176,
Emigrant, MT, 59027.

Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral
Home and Crematory.