Year: 2007
Acres: 320
Ecosystem: Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem
Location: MT – Swan Valley
Project Type: Conservation Easement


Photo from Missoula County Commissioners tour of Cooney Creek property in 2007. Photo by Kiffin Hope.

Summary: In January 2007, Vital Ground completed the Cooney Creek Conservation Easement aspart of its ongoing Swan Valley Grizzly Bear Habitat Conservation Initiative. The easement permanently protects 320 acres of key grizzly bear habitat that possesses irreplaceable conservation values based on the parcel’s location within a federally identified grizzly bear linkage zone, and the fact that it encompasses approximately ½-mile of riparian area associated with Cooney Creek. Cooney Creek constitutes important rearing habitat for juvenile bull trout, and other, less sensitive fish species, and benefits other wildlife species, including: whitetail and mule deer, elk, moose, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, wolverine, and beaver; along with other fish, waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds. The property is located in the eastern half of Section 33 in the Cooney Creek drainage, a wild and remote area of the Swan Mountain Range near the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.