Major Challenge Grant Offered for Beaver Lakes Project

The Beaver Lakes Recreation Use Easement Project received exciting news this week. The Whitefish Community Foundation has offered Whitefish Legacy Partners a $100,000 Major Challenge Grant. WLP is very close to completing their project to create a permanent conservation easement on 1,520 acres in the Beaver Lakes area. This challenge grant requires WLP to raise $100,000 which will then be matched with a $100,000 grant from the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Major Grant Program.

The matching funds provided by the Whitefish Community Foundation include $25,000 from the Whitefish Community Foundation and $75,000 from the Whitefish Community Foundation Board of Directors. This is a very significant challenge put together by the Community Foundation.

This Major Challenge Grant is igniting the community to donate to this important project. The easement purchase was structured over a two year period and the final payment is due December 31st, 2014. A significant portion is being funded by philanthropist Michael Goguen and WLP is responsible for raising the remaining $2M from the community. Many people have generously supported this effort and WLP is 91% of the way to their goal. WLP must raise the final $185,000 which will not only match the Whitefish Community Foundation’s $100,000 Major Challenge Grant but will also complete the final fundraising effort.

Two years ago, Whitefish Legacy Partners in conjunction with the City of Whitefish, concluded negotiations with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to purchase a permanent Conservation and Recreation easement on 1,520 acres of School Trust Land in the Beaver Lakes area. WLP agreed to purchase the development rights associated with this land, which precludes all future development on the land. The DNRC will continue to manage the land as a sustainable and active forest.

The Whitefish Trail is the anchor recreation project encompassed by the easement. The easement is the result of collaborative partnerships providing public access and quality recreation while protecting the clean water of Whitefish Lake, prime wildlife habitat and maintaining actively managed forests on open lands surrounding Whitefish.

Whitefish Legacy Partners needs your support to make the final payment for a permanent conservation easement on 1,520 acres of land in the Beaver Lakes area. We are down to the wire in our fundraising efforts and need to raise the final 9% by December 31st, 2014. Click here to donate.

Thank you for your continued support of the Whitefish Trail and the conservation of lands important to our community.