Year: 2013
Acres: 25
Ecosystem: Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem
Location: MT – near Condon, Mont.
Project Type: Conservation Easement

Summary:
On December 30 Vital Ground added another project to its list of 2013 accomplishments as landowner Richard Boughton and Vital Ground worked together to conserve 25 acres in Montana’s upper Swan Valley.

Located in the Swan Lake watershed and fifteen miles north of Vital Ground’s recent Elk Flats Neighbors Project, the Boughton residence contains limited development including a house, garage and woodshed. This new conservation easement in Lake County contains approximately 15 acres of dense mixed-aged tree species that includes western larch, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, Douglas fir, grand fir, birch, quaking aspen, and black cottonwood.

The land supports a diversity of wildlife species, including federal- and state-listed threatened, endangered and sensitive species. The most significant features of the Boughton property are the riparian/wetlands scattered throughout the acreage, caused by glaciation. These features provide habitat for numerous species of wildlife, including spring habitat for grizzly bears.

The landowner and adjacent residents have reported grizzly sightings on the property and in the surrounding area. Protecting this from further development will allow sensitive species such as grizzlies, Canada lynx, grey wolves and wolverine to use this habitat for foraging, shelter and movement through the Swan Valley.