Gallatin Valley Land Trust out of money following new projects - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Gallatin Valley Land Trust out of money following new projects

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BOZEMAN -

 In environmental news, Gallatin County Commissioners approved two projects Tuesday from the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. 

 Both of the new projects are being funded with the remainder of two bonds from 2001 and 2004, which were worth 20 million dollars.

The projects are keeping a farm east of Bozeman and a local dairy farm protected from future changes to the land. Even though the bond money is all gone, the trust says it's happy with all it has accomplished with the grants.

"Makes us really proud, I think that's why we get up every day,” said Penelope Pierce, Executive Director.

“We're all here because we like being here. We value the things that make this valley so special from the incredible scenic vista, is to the wildlife, to really a great trail system that leads us to millions of acres of public land."

Penelope Pierce, executive director of the Gallatin Valley Land Trust says it has been around for nearly three decades focusing on two main areas. One of the areas is protecting private land conservation.

"With private land conservation, we worked with 104 families to protect over 46,000 acres in and around the valley,” said Pierce. “That is a lot of important wildlife habitat, it's really great farm and ranch land and we're protecting the water quality for the beautiful rivers that run through the valley."

The second area is creating and preserving community trails.

"With the main street trail system we have now over 80 miles of trails,” said Pierce. “One of the things that we've accomplished this summer thanks to two very generous landowners that we're going to close what is known as the painted Hills gap. Now we will connect that so if one desires it one can walk all the way from the Bridgers to the Gallatin on a trail so we're really excited about that."

Both bonds were each 10 million dollars and Pierce says the trust has been able to make the most of that money. 

"Those previous bonds did so much for the valley we leverage to them to it $100 million of projects so it was a real bang for a buck."

 Pierce says it's projects like these that helps the area continue to grow without losing its charm.

"We found that gives us in the county of the ability to balance grow this valley is growing at an unprecedented rate we welcome new folks we think it's great but there's a balance and we want to make sure we protect the very things that people love most about this place."

The next step for the Gallatin Valley Land Trust is they hope to have an open space bond that on the 2018 ballot to help preserve the many Montana trails.

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