Gallatin Valley Land Trust secures conservation easement
A piece of Montana ranching history has been preserved.
Located in the booming Paradise Valley, where ranches are commonly subdivided, the Paradise Valley Ranch has now been conserved through a conservation easement with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust.
AMB West Chairman and Owner Arthur Blank bought Paradise Valley Ranch in 2019, at which time he pledged to preserve the ranching traditions, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty of the property. On April 19, Blank made his commitment to the community official when he established a conservation easement on the spectacular 8,800-acre ranch.
The conservation easement permanently limits residential and commercial development on the property but allows for agriculture and outdoor recreation to continue. This is the largest conservation easement in Paradise Valley to date and the third property owned by Blank to be conserved.
“Paradise Valley Ranch is not only a stunning property in the heart of Paradise Valley, it also provides critical wildlife habitat and is rich in agricultural opportunities,” Blank said. “It was very important to us when we purchased the ranch that the land was conserved and managed in a thoughtful, responsible way and could serve as a resource for the community. We are proud to have partnered with Gallatin Valley Land Trust to finalize a conservation easement ensuring that the natural beauty, ecosystem, and native landscape that makes the ranch so special with be preserved in perpetuity.”
Paradise Valley Ranch is 10 miles south of Livingston, Montana, on the western edge of Paradise Valley about 30 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. The property is mostly native rangeland and encompasses Antelope Butte, a prominent and scenic landscape feature that can be seen from across the valley.
The ranch’s irrigated hayfields and vast meadows provide beautiful scenery, grazing for cattle, as well as important winter range for elk, mule deer and other species. The property lies close to seven other conserved properties, anchoring an open landscape rich with wildlife and historic farms and ranches. The ranch will remain in active agricultural production and is currently leased out to local farming and ranching families, according to the AMB Foundation.
In 2020, soon after Gallatin Valley Land Trust was purchased, Blank's AMB West established a community elk hunting program providing access to the ranch annually. The program was developed to serve local Park County and Montana residents and aims to promote further conservation efforts on the property, AMB West said.
Hunts are awarded through a lottery system free of charge. “With the increasing rate of growth and development in the valley, we are grateful to Mr. Blank for ensuring this iconic ranch stays open forever” Gallatin Valley Land Trust Conservation Director Brendan Weiner said. “With over 40 existing parcels, this spectacular property could have been easily subdivided and developed but the conservation easement ensures it will stay whole.”
Gallatin Valley Land Trust works to preserve land
Gallatin Valley Land Trust has been working in Park County for over 20 years and has 16 conservation easements in the county, in addition to over 100 conservation easements across southwest Montana.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust recently hired a full-time project manager solely focused on conservation work in Park County. While Blank generously donated the financial value of this conservation easement, Gallatin Valley Land Trust has also developed public and private funding sources that allow the organization to buy conservation easements from interested landowners which will enable a greater number of landowners to utilize this tool.
Landowners interested in GVLT’s conservation programs should contact GVLT’s Park County Program Manager, Cole Herdman, for more information at: email@example.com or 406-285-1826.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust partners with private landowners to conserve working farms and ranches, fish and wildlife habitat, open lands and scenic views in Montana. Conservation easements are agreements with landowners that limit the type and amount of development on a property while keeping it in private ownership. Each easement is tailored to the specific property and runs with the title of the land in perpetuity.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust is responsible for upholding the easement’s terms. Because a conservation easement limits development rights and therefore decreases the value of the land, landowners may be eligible to write off the difference as a charitable donation. In some cases, landowners receive financial compensation for a portion of the value of the conservation easement. The public benefits from the protection of conservation values such as prime agricultural soils, wildlife habitat, river corridors and the overall character of our region.
ABOUT AMB WEST
AMB West is a holding company of Arthur Blank’s for-profit and non-profit guest ranches in Paradise Valley, Montana. The ranches include Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch, Paradise Valley Ranch, and The Ranch at Dome Mountain. AMB West melds the missions of guest ranching, philanthropy, non-profit convening, working ranch lands and conservation to achieve best-in-class hospitality and stewardship practices.