The Swan Valley is a natural masterpiece of glacier-capped peaks,
crystal clear lakes, lush meadows, and productive forestlands. Located
between the Bob Marshall and Mission Mountain Wilderness Areas, the Swan
Valley is one of the most ecologically diverse areas within the Crown
of the Continent Ecosystem. The valley provides critical connectivity
between the two wilderness areas, particularly for far-ranging animals
like the grizzly bear and lynx.
Until recently, land ownership in the Swan Valley formed a
checkerboard pattern-one square mile sections alternating in private and
public ownership. The largest private landowner was Plum Creek
Timberlands,owning approximately 72,000 acres, many of which were
slated for development. To address this looming threat, The Trust for Public Land and local partners, including the Swan Ecosystem Center, led a community-driven, science-based assessment to identify those lands most in need of protection.
Through the Montana Legacy Project, The Trust for Public Land, and our partner, The Nature Conservancy, have acquired the entirety of Plum Creek's remaining lands in the valley.