As a land trust, Vital Ground completes land purchases and partners with willing private landowners on conservation agreements for their properties. Our projects keep wild places wild, working lands working, and open spaces open. Listen to several landowners’ stories.
Vital Ground is protecting both wildlife connectivity and local agriculture by working on a conservation agreement for the 1,040-acre Hubbard family farm, which provides a vital wildlife corridor between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges in northern Idaho. Vital Ground is working to protect the land through a conservation easement supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the new Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative.
Vital Ground works to protect and restore habitat for wild grizzly populations in ecosystems where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated grizzly bear recovery zones and where state wildlife management agencies have placed an emphasis on conserving the species. One of those special places is in Montana’s Swan Valley where Jim and Terry Quinn live. In this video, Jim shows trail camera photos of wildlife and talks about linkage habitat that his property provides for elk, wolves, mountain lions and grizzly bears crossing from the Mission Mountains to the Bob Marshal Wilderness.
Vital Ground worked with private landowner Bud Moore to place a conservation easement on his 80-acre “Coyote Forest” property in Montana’s Swan Valley, a working forest that supported a small timber and sawmill operation. In this short video, Bud’s son, Bill Moore, introduces the “Bear Tree” and shares a land ethic that helped inspire Vital Ground’s Elk Flats Neighbors Project.
As grizzly recovery progresses in the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem near Glacier National Park, bears follow rivers east of Montana’s Rocky Mountains Front onto the plains. With a recent uptick in grizzly incidents on local ranches and farms, the timing is right for our Glen Willow project, which secured a conservation easement on 650 acres of riparian and forest habitat straddling a spring-fed tributary of the Teton River. The project will help bears avoid conflicts that would occur on a developed landscape.