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Conservation Lands


Places Worth Protecting

Whitefish Legacy Partners is the local catalyst for conservation projects that strive to create mutually beneficial outcomes for the Whitefish community. We work closely with the City of Whitefish, state and federal agencies, local businesses, and private landowners to harmonize wildlife habitat and the growing recreation industry with the traditional wood products industry — all of which are essential to our community’s economy.


Smith Lake

600  Acres Proposed

Haskill Basin

3,022  Acres Protected

Beaver Lakes

1,520  Acres Protected
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Origins of Conservation

Origins of Whitefish Legacy Conservation

In the early 2000s, a development plan surfaced for a section of Montana State Trust Lands at Spencer Mountain. The community rallied against losing this cherished landscape and developed a multi-partner solution to ensure permanent public access, wildlife habitat, and sustainable forest management for future generations. 

In 2004, the Whitefish Area Neighborhood Plan was developed and formally adopted by the City of Whitefish, the State Land Board, and Flathead County. The plan calls for an innovative solution for the 13,000 acres of State Trust Lands surrounding our community - including conservation strategies and a recreation loop trail around Whitefish Lake.

In 2006, the Whitefish Trail Master Plan was written and adopted. This comprehensive plan calls for a recreation loop trail surrounding Whitefish Lake that connects our community conservation lands. Whitefish Legacy Partners became the local catalyst to ensure the conservation, education, and recreation opportunities on the lands surrounding our community for future generations. 


How Our Conservation Works

The conservation goals of WLP place local lands into permanent protection while also developing sustainable recreation and education opportunities close to town. Through conservation easements, land exchanges, land use licenses, and recreation use licenses, many of our local lands will be protected from development and will also serve to defend the community from the hazards of wildland fire.

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