'We have a stake in the place'

  • Wendy Ninteman

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

The Five Valleys Land Trust in Missoula, Mont., was founded 27 years ago to protect the area's river corridors. The group has since broadened its mission, and has protected over 15,000 acres with easements or acquisitions.Recently, the trust purchased 1,000 acres of land on Mount Sentinel, one of Missoula's best-known landmarks, and sold the land to the city.

Wendy Ninteman: "I think there's a strong argument to be made for local land trusts. We know what's going on in the community and we're community members. We have a stake in the place. We can take good care of easements and respond when opportunities arise. National organizations are doing great work, but on a different scale. Our involvement with these families goes beyond a newsletter. It's a personal, established relationship that goes on long after an easement is signed. Hopefully, we'll be there to see it through.

"We've established a stewardship and legal defense fund. That's really our insurance policy; a land trust is only as strong as its legal defense is. Every time we take an easement, we put money into the fund.

"Fortunately, we've never had to go to court, never had a serious violation, and I think one reason for that is that we've been diligent about our monitoring (of easements). That's critical, so we can catch problems early.

"Most of our easements are first generation, with a handful of second generation. There's no doubt that it becomes a lot more problematic when the land is no longer in the hands of the person who signed the easement. No doubt. That's what everyone's gearing up for."

High Country News Classifieds
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Communications Associate Director Location: Flexible within the Western U.S., Durango, CO preferred Position reports to: Senior Communications Director The Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF)...
  • HISTORIC HOTEL & CAFE
    For Sale, 600k, Centennial Wyoming, 6 suites plus 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. www.themountainviewhotel.com Make this your home or buy a turn key hotel [email protected]
  • MAJOR GIFTS OFFICER
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Major Gifts Officer to join our...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    Basic Summary: The Vice President for Landscape Conservation is based in the Washington, D.C., headquarters and oversees Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing...
  • BRISTOL BAY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Seeking a program director responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the Alaska Chapter's priority strategy for conservation in the Bristol Bay region of...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The National Bighorn Sheep Center is looking for an Executive Director to take us forward into the new decade with continued strong leadership and vision:...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Powder Basin Watershed Council, based in Baker City, Oregon, seeks a new Executive Director with a passion for rural communities, water, and working lands....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.