Local couple recognized by state for conservation effort

3/24/2016 Belgrade News by Sam Weber

A local couple traveled to Helena Tuesday to accept an award from Gov. Steve Bullock himself.

Belgrade’s Tim Crawford and Kathy Hansen Crawford, along with their ranch manager Lane Quandt, received one of the 2016 Montana Neighbor Awards for their commitment to conservation and community land involvement. Only five other awards were given throughout the state.

Tim Crawford said he thinks the Gallatin Valley Land Trust may have nominated him and his wife for the honor. They placed their property into a conservation easement with the help of the trust about 20 years ago, and have made vast efforts to encourage public land and water access and protect local wildlife and vegetation since then.

The Crawford ranch sits on a 360-acre plot around the East Gallatin River off West Dry Creek Road. An expansive view of the Bridger Range flanks one side of the property, where the couple has successfully married their agricultural and conservation interests. Countless species of wildlife inhabit their land, and native vegetation is encouraged to flourish.

When the Crawfords chose to put their property in a conservation easement, they made a permanent commitment to protecting their public land.

“You decide you have a piece of land you don’t want to change, and you make a commitment not to sell it or subdivide it or anything like that,” Kathy said. “It’s about saving land and sharing it with everybody.”

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