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Five Valleys Land Trust Embarks
on Fundraising Effort to Protect
Key Wildlife Wintering Grounds
Near Bob Marshall Wilderness

August 5, 1999
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana


 Internationally known artist Monte Dolack, who once lived and worked in Seeley Lake for a short time, has completed another work of wildlife in the Seeley Swan area.

Several years ago his "Loons of Swan Valley" became very popular.

Now, the "Blackfoot-Clearwater," a piece done for the 50th Anniversary of the Game Range, is available for sale with proceeds contributing to additional purchases of Game Range lands now in private ownership.

See story below for details on purchasing the colorful print, shown here only in black and white.

In an effort to help protect a critical wildlife migration corridor connected to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Five Valleys Land Trust is pleased to announce "The Blackfoot-Clearwater," a commemorative poster depicting the essence of the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. FVLT, along with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, commissioned nationally renowned artist Monte Dolack to create an original acrylic painting capturing the essence of this remarkable place which provides a respite during the winter for thousands of elk and deer who migrate through the corridor each year to find shelter from the long, snowy winters in the wilderness.

"The Blackfoot-Clearwater," unveiled at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Blackfoot-Clearwater WMA, helped mark the beginning of a two-year project to permanently protect 7,800 acres of this important winter wildlife habitat through a series of land purchases and exchanges. The four-phase project involves a diverse private-public partnership which hopes to raise $2.2 million to complete the transaction. Proceeds from the sale of "The Blackfoot-Clearwater" will contribute to the project's overall success.

The Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area is Montana's largest state-managed wildlife management area. This diverse ecosystem offers a sanctuary to a variety of predators and other wildlife. The area, at a mere forty-five minutes from Missoula, provides recreationists from all over the country opportunities to hunt, camp, hike, fish, snowshoe, ski, photograph and view wildlife. Currently, cooperative agreements between FWP and state and private landowners, like Plum Creek Timber Company, control more than 70 percent of the 67,000-acre area. Although this arrangement has been of benefit historically and Plum Creek has no immediate plans to sell its holdings within the WMA, current development pressures make it increasingly hard for private landowners to balance divergent management goals on the Game Range. "The permanent preservation of this land will ensure the long-time viability of this critical habitat," says Wendy Ninteman, the Executive Director of Five Valleys Land Trust. "We would rather take action now than be forced to react later - when it might be too late."

Extensive cooperation among Montana's state and federal land management agencies and partnerships between corporate and private organizations, including the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area Citizens Advisory Council, have provided Montana with the opportunity to take advantage of Plum Creek Timber's generous offer to protect one of Montana's most valuable natural resources.

For more information on how you can contribute through the purchase of Monte Dolack's "Blackfoot-Clearwater" poster, please contact Five Valleys Land Trust at (406) 542-1652, or stop by the office at 104 E. Main in Missoula, Montana. Unsigned posters are priced at $30 apiece. A limited series of 200 signed and 5 remarqued posters are priced at $100 and $350 respectively, and the original acrylic painting is available for sale to benefit the project. To view the image, please visit FVLT's website at

Five Valleys Land Trust is a local non-profit organization engaging in conservation, stewardship, and educational activities in order to encourage sound conservation practices with respect to land, water, wildlife, and scenic and historic resources within Missoula County, Montana and the immediate adjoining counties in Montana.

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