MT Rancher Donates $3.9 Million to Protect Madison Valley

Cameron, MT, 8/12/2008: Roger Lang, owner of Sun Ranch has made a private donation of $3.9 million to The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to protect the water, wildlife and working lands of the spectacular Madison Valley, in Montana. The gift will be used to establish the Sun Ranch Fund at TPL for the acquisition of lands and conservation easements that contribute to protecting the vast open space and agricultural heritage of Montana’s renowned Madison Valley.

“I love the eco-mountain West,” says Lang, a founder of the Sun Ranch Group, a conservation enterprise based in Bozeman, Mont. “This is another step toward our goal at the Sun Ranch Group of conserving one million acres of important land in 10 years. The Sun Ranch Group was conceived with the intent to protect and appreciate the American West and its ecosystems, conserving it in a sustainable process for future generations.”

A passionate conservationist, Lang is a founder of the Sun Ranch Group which has created a market-driven conservation model for securing large tracts of important lands, including crucial wildlife habitat and migration routes. The model includes putting the majority of the land into conservation. Lang made the unprecedented gift to help protect extraordinary wildlife habitat, guarantee long-term wildlife connectivity and safeguard the rural character and largely intact working landscape in one of the most ecologically important corners of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“We’re hoping that this fund will inspire even greater support from both public and private partners for our long-term efforts to protect the Madison Valley.” said Trust for Public Land President, Will Rogers. “TPL has made the Madison one of our two geographic priorities in Montana. We are committed to helping protect its unique rural character and irreplaceable wildlife habitat from fast encroaching development. The Sun Ranch Fund will help make it possible for other local landowners to permanently protect the lands they love for future generations.”

TPL and the Sun Ranch Group began working together more than two years ago to protect over 11,000 acres of the famed Sun Ranch, culminating earlier this summer with the acquisition of a conservation easement by the U.S. Forest Service. In combination with an existing easement, the latest transaction protects more than 95% of the 19,000-acre ranch from any future subdivision or development. Lang donated over $17.5 million of $23 million Fair Market Value of the conservation easement value to the public.

Since 1972, TPL has protected over 2.3 million acres nationwide. In Montana, TPL has protected an astonishing 215,000 acres of land, and 220 miles of rivers and streams across the state. Lang’s gift offers TPL the opportunity to increase the pace of its conservation work in the Madison Valley-which it has identified as one of its two geographic priorities in Montana and where TPL and its partners have already completed easement purchases protecting nearly 22,000 acres of important waterways, wildlife, and working lands.

The Sun Ranch Group is a fully sustainable “conservation enterprise” built around environmentally credible practices in real estate, agriculture, construction and recreation. Sun Ranch Group includes The Lodge at Sun Ranch eco-lodge; Sun Ranch Agriculture holistic ranch operations; Sun Ranch Settlements, low impact residential conservation real estate communities; Sun Ranch Construction a green-build company; and the nonprofit Sun Ranch Institute. For additional information, visit or call (406) 551-1050.