Northwest Connections initiated and catalyzed what became known as The Montana Legacy Project.  Beginning in 1997, working with local citizens and The Trust for Public Land, we identified and conserved Plum Creek Timber Company forest lands that were slated for development.

In 2005, Northwest Connections successfully advocated for a large landscape approach and facilitated a process to bring together citizens and conservation partners to envision the art of the possible.

In 2007, The Nature Conservancy and The Trust For Public Land entered into an agreement with Plum Creek Timber Company to purchase all of the remaining lands in the Swan Valley (67,000 acres). The Swan lands are just a subset of The Montana Legacy Project which encompasses 310,000 acres across western Montana.

In order to simplify land ownership and protect public access, most of the former Plum Creek lands in the Swan Valley have been conveyed to the Flathead National Forest. Northern portions of the Swan Valley are being conveyed to the Swan River State Forest.

A Fiber Supply Agreement between The Nature Conservancy and Plum Creek allows for logs on lands conveyed to the Forest Service to continue flowing to local mills.

Large Landscapes in Focus
By JAMES LEVITT, Saving Land, Land Trust Alliance, Spring 2013 (PDF)

Ensuring A Timberland Legacy
By JANE BRAXTON LITTLE, American Forests, Winter 2009 (PDF)

Plum Creek conservation deal biggest in U.S.
By MICHAEL JAMISON, Missoulian, June 30, 2008
View the PDF


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IMAGE CREDITS: Top - Chuck Bartlebaugh; Maps - The Nature Conservancy and The Trust For Public Land