Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Gallatin Valley Land Trust conserves southwest Montana’s heritage of open landscapes, working farms and ranches, healthy rivers, and wildlife habitat; and creates trails to connect people, communities and the land.

  • GVLT works to permanently conserve Southwest Montana, a nationally significant landscape.
  • GVLT partners with private landowners to help sustain their stewardship of family lands using voluntary conservation agreements.
  • Through public and private partnerships GVLT creates and maintains trail systems that provide recreation, transportation and a connection to nature.
  • Founded in 1990, GVLT is a member supported, nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing the communities we serve.

GVLT works with private landowners to conserve working farms and ranches, river corridors and critical wildlife habitat, scenic views, and urban open space in Gallatin, Park, Meagher, Madison, Broadwater, and Jefferson counties. Voluntary conservation agreements, known as conservation easements, limit development while keeping these irreplaceable landscapes in private ownership and management. Since GVLT's first conservation easement in 1991, we have partnered with 73 families to conserve over fifty square miles across Southwest Montana.

Private, voluntary conservation easements are customized for every property and landowner’s vision. In general, conservation easements protect the land from unlimited subdivision and development, while also protecting the rights of private ownership. When a landowner donates a conservation easement to a land trust, the owner gives up some of the rights associated with the land and retains the remaining rights. For example, the right to build additional residential structures may be extinguished, while the right to grow crops or raise livestock may be reserved. In some instances, the ability to build additional family homes or limited development is retained. An easement is tailored to the specific needs and desires of the landowner and is a voluntary transaction. The land trust is responsible for making sure the easement's terms are followed in perpetuity.

Conservation easements do not make the land available for public recreation, nor does an easement prohibit access. Permission for hunting, fishing, hiking, and other forms of recreation require permission from the landowner, as on any other privately owned land. GVLT cannot give out the contact information for its conservation easement landowners.

The donation of an easement may result in a charitable contribution deduction for tax purposes and related income, estate, and/or gift tax relief. In some cases, GVLT can help find funding to compensate landowners for a portion of the conservation easement value.

For more information about conservation easements, please contact GVLT’s staff.

Gallatin Valley Land Trust2008

Contact Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Kelly Pohl
Program Director
25 N. Willson
PO Box 7021
Bozeman, Montana  59771-7021
Phone: 406-587-8404
Fax: (406) 582-1136


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Montana

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