Year: 2005
Acres: 80
Ecosystem: Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem
Location: MT – Swan Valley
Project Type: Conservation Easement

Summary: In 2005, Vital Ground finalized an agreement with Bud Moore to place a conservation easement on his 80-acre Coyote Forest property in the Swan Valley, a working forest that supports a small timber and sawmill operation. Coyote Forest is part of a grizzly linkage zone and researchers have regularly recorded grizzlies using the property and surrounding lands. Vital Ground arranged a bargain sale transaction in which the easement was partly donated and partly purchased. The first conservation easement both negotiated and held by Vital Ground, the agreement protects the wildlife values of Coyote Forest, while allowing ecological forest management to continue to provide income.

The 80-acre “Coyote Forest” is not only a coniferous forest, but also includes wetlands important to grizzly bears and other critical wildlife species in Montana’s Swan Valley. Photo by Kevin Rhoades.

Bud Moore, the elder statesman of sustainable forestry in the Swan Valley, greets Vital Ground supporters during the 2008 Walk on Vital Ground. Photo by Kiffin Hope.

Bud Moore, the elder statesman of sustainable forestry in the Swan Valley, greets Vital Ground supporters during the 2008 Walk on Vital Ground. Photo by Kiffin Hope.