Conserving a Flathead Valley Ecological and Community Treasure

Published on October 10, 2016 under News
Conserving a Flathead Valley Ecological and Community Treasure

TOGETHER, WE DID IT!  THANK YOU to everyone who helped us raise over $150,000 from October, 2016 through August, 2017 for the West Valley Wetlands project.

We raised 100% of the funding needed for the required non-federal match of the $1.4 million project – so many of you helped get us there.  Click here to see our generous contributors and partners for the West Valley Wetlands. 

Because of tremendous community support,  we have now permanently conserved the West Valley Wetlands – almost 400 acres of rich farmland with an exceptional 45 acre pothole wetland that is part of an ecologically important area for birds and wildlife in the West Valley just northwest of Kalispell.  We are truly in awe and full of gratitude to see this important conservation project come to fruition.

We are currently working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to complete the public bird viewing area at the site and expect to be done by fall, 2018.  We invite you all to the grand opening celebration of the bird viewing area on October 6 at the site.  More details of the celebration coming soon.  

We are also excited to announce that we were able to raise $10,000 through the  Whitefish Community Foundation Great Fish Challenge which will help fund educational programs and the long-term stewardship of the West Valley Wetlands bird viewing area.  Another big thank you to everyone who donated to us through the Great Fish to make that possible.

And finally, we would like to thank the generosity of talented folks who have donated photos and a video.  Thanks to Jake Bramante and B.J. Worth for the amazing video about sandhill cranes and the West Valley Wetlands, and thanks to Dick Walker, Steve Muller and William Janoch for many amazing photos.

The West Valley includes a complex of wetlands in agricultural fields that support some of the highest numbers and diversity of wetland birds in the Flathead Valley.  This includes the only known staging area for sandhill cranes in the Flathead Valley where hundreds of these magnificent birds can be viewed during their annual migration.

For more information about this incredible conservation opportunity and to learn how you can help, click here.

Flathead Beacon news article – Working to Conserve the West Valley wetlands. 

fundraising-appeal-flyer-3“The pothole wetland and surrounding agricultural land of this 400 acre project is critical for tens of thousands of migratory waterfowl, twenty species of shorebirds, and is part of a vital staging area for hundreds of sandhill cranes.”

Dan Casey, Bird Expert and Biologist for Ducks Unlimited, and formerly of American Bird Conservancy and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.