GVLT Adopts New 3-Year Strategic Plan


The Gallatin Valley is growing at an annual rate of 4%, that’s 4,000 people moving here each year. Our growing community is putting pressure on open landscapes, critical wildlife habitat, and shared outdoor spaces. GVLT’s work to conserve open land and build trails has become more important, and more challenging, than ever. In the face of these challenges, the GVLT Board of Directors and staff have crafted a new strategic plan to guide us through the next three years. Through this process we assessed our strengths, our community’s most pressing needs, our most effective tools, and our capacity to do more. We dreamed big and created a vision that is both aspirational and focused. This work couldn’t wait. We’ve already begun.

Words from GVLT Leadership:

“Earlier in 2019, GVLT staff and Board of Directors spent several days creating a new Strategic Plan, one that will take us boldly into the future and help us navigate the growth in our valley and seize the opportunities it brings. I’m excited for you to see what we have in store.”-Penelope Pierce, Executive Director

“I am honored to have served at the helm of the Board of Directors through the creation of a new Strategic Plan; a vision for what I believe will be the most impactful and inspiring chapter of GVLT’s history. We are poised and ready to do more – to conserve more land, build more trails, and connect with more people who, like you, care deeply about this place we call home. Today, as GVLT builds on the foundation created with its strong supporters, we push forward with our mission to protect the last best place – forever.”- Mark Kehke, GVLT Board Chair

2019-2022 Gallatin Valley Land Trust Strategic Plan

As we reflect on almost 30 years of achievement and embark on our next three-year strategic plan, we remain committed to lands and trails. Our focus for the next three years will be to accelerate land conservation in our region, build trails that further enhance our community, serve as a trusted advocate for land conservation and trails, and build support and community through our outreach efforts.


1. Working within our geographic focus areas, complete high quality & enduring LAND CONSERVATION projects that provide significant community benefit.

    • Further refine our land conservation priorities by completing a Strategic Land Conservation Plan.
    • Increase the acres of land conserved by an additional 5,000 acres.
    • Complete at least 9 conservation easements.
    • Champion and shepherd one project that greatly enhances public access through conservation and trails.


2. Ensure appropriate CONSERVATION easement STEWARDSHIP & compliance by maintaining, enhancing, & protecting conservation values.

    • Monitor every conservation easement on a yearly basis.
    • Build and maintain strong working relationships with easement landowners and provide timely service when questions arise.
    • Continue the stewardship enhancement program.


3. DEVELOP new conservation  FINANCE TOOLS.

    • Create a Land Acquisition Fund­ to facilitate strategic purchases of high priority land when other tools are not available.
    • Create a program that pairs funders with land conservation projects by building a pool of conservation-minded realtors and buyers to work with GVLT.
    • Pursue RCPP funding in order to leverage funding from the Gallatin County Open Lands Levy.


4. BUILD more high quality, accessible, connected TRAILS.

    • Launch and lead one flagship trail project that adds significant new public parkland or trails and addresses an important community need or connection.
    • Lead at least three “connector” or significant trail enhancement projects.
    • Working with the Lands Program, champion and shepherd one project that greatly enhances public access through conservation and trails.
    • Support trail projects that are initiated and led by other organizations.


5. DEVELOP new trail-building FINANCE TOOLS.

    • Concurrent with building the Land Acquisition Fund, create a Trail Building Fund to purchase land or trail easements, and/or build trail infrastructure.


6. Maintain & STEWARD community TRAILS.

    • Work with Gallatin County, the City of Bozeman, and MT Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to clearly define trail maintenance responsibilities and identify where GVLT can add value and service to land managers.
    • Refine the Trail Ambassador Program by creating innovative ways for volunteers to assist GVLT staff with trail etiquette, monitoring and stewardship.



    • Working with local governments, partners, and the public, lead efforts to develop and strengthen trails planning beyond the limits of Bozeman and into the greater Gallatin Valley.
    • Take the lead in convening the City of Bozeman, City of Belgrade, Gallatin County, US Forest Service, landowners, and user groups to coordinate trail development, maintenance and enhancement of the broader trail network.


8. ADVOCATE for LAND conservation tools & the importance of connected TRAILS in land use planning processes.

    • Participate and advocate in land use planning processes such as the Planning Coordinating Committee, Gallatin County Growth Policy Update, Bozeman Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Plan, Belgrade Parks and Trails Master Plan, Belgrade Growth Policy Update, Bozeman Community Plan Update, and more.
    • Offer our Trails planning expertise and Strategic Land Conservation Plan to supplement and inform plans above. By sharing our vision and tools for trails and land conservation with local governments, we will ensure that land conservation and trails remain high priorities as our community grows.


9. BUILD an inclusive COMMUNITY of informed, engaged, & caring individuals who will steward & respect our open lands and trails.