For generations, the forests surrounding Libby, Montana, Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River have provided jobs for the local economy, clean water, and critical fish and wildlife habitat. Residents and visitors have counted on this land for hunting, fishing, cross country skiing, and hiking. Now those benefits are protected forever through two conservation easements, guaranteeing public access and preserving sustainable forestry on nearly 50,000 acres of wild lands.
The conservation of Kootenai Forestlands is an example of how public and private entities can team up to support working lands, wildlife habitat, and public recreation. Stimson Lumber Company will continue sustainable timber management on the property, reducing the future costs of fighting wildfires and retaining jobs for Libby’s residents. It will never be subdivided into commercial or residential buildings, and humans and wildlife will be free to recreate, hunt, and breathe in the woods surrounding their town. Bordering 133 miles of the Kootenai National Forest, this property links an extensive network of wildlife corridors reaching from Montana to Washington to British Columbia that is crucial for the survival of the Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bears, a population of fewer than 75 bears. Wildlife enthusiasts can also rest easy knowing we’ve protected habitat for Canada lynx, bull trout, and grizzly bear.
Ready to see for yourself? Local outdoor education programs offer self-guided trail tours, forest education classes, and environmental science and wilderness survival workshops on the land. Get out there and explore!