The Gecho Ranch in the heart of the Madison Valley has 1,406 acres of grazing land, valuable wildlife habitat, and stunning views of the Madison Range—including the iconic Sphinx Mountain. The area is considered one of the most ecologically intact corners of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, providing refuge for grizzly and black bear, elk, moose, gray wolf, and pronghorn antelope—even the elusive wolverine and Canada lynx.
The Trust for Public Land has worked with ranch owners John and Joseph Gecho, the Montana Land Reliance, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to place a conservation easement on the land. Our work has allowed the Gechos to keep the ranch in agricultural use while protecting it from being subdivided for development.
TPL protected an additional 794 acres in the Madison Valley in 2011. To date, more than 150,000 acres—roughly half of the private land in the valley—have been permanently conserved, making this one of the largest conservation success stories in the American West.
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- Madison Valley, Montana: a land and water conservation modelThe Madison River Valley in Montana is a rare jewel near Yellowstone National Park, and a model for land and water conservation efforts. It's a place that evokes wonder and amazement in those that enjoy it for recreation and its world renown for fly-fishing.