Results and Accomplishments
The Trust for Public Land (TPL), public land management agencies, public resource management agencies, and the community have been working with the major private landowner (PCT), to develop a long-term conservation strategy that effectively protects the significant ecological and recreational resources of the Swan Valley, while promoting the sustainable management of the Valley’s forest products resources. This process included a science-based assessment of the wildlife and fisheries resources, timber productivity, and recreational activities.
The Land & Water Conservation Fund has been a hallmark funding resource for conservation in the Swan Valley. This program began in 1999 providing funding for the acquisition of 2,500 acres around Lindbergh Lake. Subsequently, the partnership participated in the design of a long-range acquisition plan for the Flathead National Forest. Utilizing the LWCF program, nearly 7,200 acres of strategic resource lands have been acquired and incorporated into the Flathead National Forest.
Due to the forested character of the Valley, the Forest Legacy Program will also play a key role in the conservation strategy. The first two phases have been funded and will contribute to the placement of a conservation easement on about 7,200 acres of Plum Creek forestlands within the Swan River State Forest. Additional FLP applications have been developed for acquisition of key parcels containing about 2,400 acres, which would be managed as part of the State Forest.
The hydrologic conditions and high water quality of the Swan Valley supports a significant bull trout fishery. In order to maintain this threatened species, applications will be developed for the USF&WS Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund/Section 6 land acquisition program.
The utilization of these funding programs in the Swan Valley will play a key role in protecting forestland resources and related economic, social, and environmental values.