GVLT Receives Bill Wright Conservation Award for Land Stewardship

This month we were honored and humbled to be presented with the Bill Wright Conservation Award for Land Stewardship from the Gallatin Conservation District. Stewardship Director Peter Brown was in attendance to accept the award. Thank you to the Gallatin Conservation District and the NRCS for this recognition of the work we do alongside landowners to enhance and protect the resources on their properties.

“Since their founding in 1990 they have helped conserve over 67 square miles of land in Gallatin Valley and the surrounding communities through partnerships with private landowners, using voluntary conservation agreements. Through public and private partnerships GVLT has helped expand the Main Street to the Mountains trail system to over 80 miles in length, providing recreation, transportation and a connection to nature. GVLT founder, Chris Boyd, was a true visionary. He could see this area changing and saw the need for an organization to care for its future. They have been carrying that torch ever since.

In 2015 the Gallatin Valley Land Trust built on this foundation by taking on the role of lead partner in developing the inaugural Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Collaborating Partners include the Gallatin Conservation District, Association of Gallatin Agricultural Irrigators, Montana Audubon Society, City of Bozeman, Gallatin County, Gallatin County / MSU Extension, Gallatin Local Water Quality District, Gallatin National Forest, Greater Gallatin Watershed Council, Montana Association of Land Trusts, Montana DNRC, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Montana Land Reliance, National Park Service Rivers & Trails, Trout Unlimited, and Trust for Pubic Lands.

This amazing effort is a true partnership of agricultural and conservation groups throughout the Gallatin Valley. This partnership secured over $3.7M in funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This program created a special 5-year funding pool for conservation projects in the Gallatin Valley and promoted coordination between NRCS and local partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. The funding was used to compensate landowners for conservation easements on important agricultural properties; and to implement farming and ranching practices that protect and enhance water quality, soil health and water quantity.”