Flathead River. Photo courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
The Fund facilitated the purchase of more than 240 acres along the main stem of the Flathead River, just north of Flathead Lake. This preserves nearly two miles of high quality, intact cottonwood/riverbank habitat important for federally protected bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Combined with adjacent protected lands, this property helps maintain the integrity of this portion of the Flathead River and benefits other wildlife such as migratory birds, pheasants, bald eagles, osprey, black bears and whitetail deer.
The Flathead Land Trust was instrumental in getting the deal started. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) purchased this land from the Ingham family, who wanted to see their property protected. Funding for the purchase came from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as part of its contribution to the Hungry Horse Dam Mitigation Program. The agency dedicates a large share of revenues from regional ratepayers to compensate for the loss of fish habitat and other impacts caused by the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam.