Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program

Jun 27, 2012

Within the Southwestern Crown of the Continent in Montana, the forests and communities of the Blackfoot, Clearwater, and Swan River valleys contain a tapestry of working ranches, private timberlands, craggy mountain peaks, abundant wildlife, and pristine lakes and streams.

But a century-long absence of natural fire, the continued spread of noxious and invasive plants and the degradation of water quality are threatening to unravel the area's famed wildlife habitat and healthy forests.

The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program was selected in 2010 to pioneer a new federal program that restores degraded forests and streams while creating jobs. The Collaboration has begun improving trails and roads, fighting noxious weeds and reducing hazardous fuels where national forests abut private property.

EcoFlight flew members of the collaborative community and news reporters over forest land where some of the work is being done. Our flight took us over a patchwork of human and wildlife habitat where a variety of ecosystems mesh together to form the Seeley Valley. It is clear that such a dynamic issue requires community collaboration amongst a diverse group of stakeholders. We are delighted this program appears to be a collaborative success.