Conservation Lands Management Plan

2015 CLM Plan Update to City Council

2015 Presentation to Council (PDF)

Plan Details

Missoula Parks and Recreation has released the new Conservation Lands Management Plan (PDF) which was approved by City Council in August, 2010.

Citizens are encouraged to read the plan to learn more about the city's plans for the management of Mount Jumbo, Mount Sentinel, the North Hills, the Rattlesnake Greenway and other open space lands. Parks and Recreation conducted an extensive public process to gather citizen input about the recreational uses of open space, vegetation and wildlife management, trail routing, accessibility, seasonal closures and maintenance. The new plan sets the vision, principles, goals and priorities to help guide management of the city's nearly 3600 acres of conservation lands for the next 10 to 15 years.

Community Development

Missoulians have made significant investments in open space through the 1995 and 2006 Open Space Bonds, and citizen input is vital to the city's effective management of these lands.The planning process began in March, 2009 with a public open house to solicit citizen input on open space management issues.

Parks and Recreation convened working and technical groups with citizens who had backgrounds and experience in wildland management issues. Along with consultants from Missoula's Ecosystem Research Group, city staff and the working groups have written a plan which provides a framework based on scientific research and data to guide management policy throughout the city's open space system.

Further Information

Comments or questions should be directed to Morgan Valliant, Conservation Lands Manager, via email Morgan Valliant, phone at 406-552-6263, or in person at Missoula Parks and Recreation:100 Hickory Street

Missoula, MT 59801


Open Space Trail System Inventory and Assessment

Hikers and bikers on Mount Jumbo, Mount Sentinel and the North Hills may find an occasional short-cut trail closed, as conservation lands managers close unofficial "user-created" trails in an effort to reduce erosion and protect plant and animal habitat on City open space.

The Conservation Lands Division of Parks and Recreation completed a trails inventory and conditions assessment last year, after an 18-month public process to to develop and adopt the recommendations within the assessment. New trail designations and trail closure priorities were officially adopted by the Conservation Lands Advisory Committee and the Park Board at their meetings in March & April, 2016.

Open space visitors are asked to respect the trail closures and help preserve and protect our conservation lands. Hiking or biking off designated trails can damage vital plant life. Broken branches and snapped limbs are only the most obvious signs of the damage that can be done. Young sprouts may be stepped on or run over and prevented from developing into the new plants that keep the beauty of the area alive.

Hiking and riding off an established trail may also cause damage the trail itself. Footprints and tire tracks compress the topsoil and compact the earth underneath. This can change how water flows during a rain and wash out previously safe sections of trail. Boots and wheels can also dislodge rocks that become impediments to other hikers on the trail.

For more information, please see the Trail Inventory and Assessment above, or contact Conservation Lands Manager via email Morgan Valliant.

News Coverage

Missoula trails keep growing, sometimes unofficially

March, 2016 Missoulian

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