GVLT completes 121st easement in partnership with North Bridger Bison Ranch
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: July 13, 2022

Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) is thrilled to announce the completion of a conservation easement on the 791-acre North Bridger Bison Ranch in Sedan, Montana.

“This has been a long-time dream for our family,” said Matt Skoglund, founder and owner of North Bridger Bison. “We’ve wanted to conserve our land since we purchased it in 2018.”

North Bridger Bison is a family-run bison ranch that provides healthy, delicious, environmentally friendly, humanely field-harvested meat. Today, North Bridger Bison has about 125 bison in the herd. Matt field-harvests every single bison himself and sells it exclusively direct to consumer, with about half of their customers based throughout Southwest Montana.

 

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Matt and Sarah to conserve their ranch and rewarding to support a local family who is producing food for our community,” said GVLT Conservation Director Brendan Weiner. “Matt’s focus on regenerative agriculture, soil heath and water quality is apparent in the way he manages the land and the results are impressive.”

 

The easement protects productive agricultural land and wildlife, including elk, moose, deer, bears, sage grouse, antelope, and all sorts of birds and waterfowl. The spectacularly beautiful land sits adjacent to Bridger Canyon Road (Hwy 86), where the public can enjoy the scenic viewsheds. It’s also located next to another conservation easement, which creates a large block of conserved land.

 

Matt believes strongly in both public and private land conservation which led his family to pursue a conservation easement for their ranch, guaranteeing that the land will never be developed, and the wildlife will forever be protected.

“Working with GVLT was awesome,” Matt said. “When we look out at our land, and see wildlife, or see nesting waterfowl, and know that it is protected forever, that’s an incredible feeling. You can’t put a price tag on that.”

The Skoglund Conservation Easement was funded by the Gallatin County Open Lands program and the NRCS Sage Grouse Initiative. This is GVLT’s 121st easement bringing the total conserved acres to 51,939.

What is a conservation easement? The Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) partners with private landowners to conserve working farms and ranches, fish and wildlife habitat, open lands and scenic views. To protect these special places, GVLT uses conservation easements, which are voluntary agreements with landowners that limit development on a property while keeping it in private ownership. Each easement is tailored to the specific property and runs with the title of the land in perpetuity. GVLT is responsible for upholding the easement’s terms. Because a conservation easement limits development rights and therefore decreases the value of the land, landowners may be eligible to write off the difference as a charitable donation. In some cases, landowners receive financial compensation for a portion of the value of the conservation easement. The public benefits from the protection of conservation values such as prime agricultural soils, wildlife habitat, river corridors and the overall character of our region.

About Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Gallatin Valley Land Trust connects people, communities, and open lands through conservation of working farms and ranches, healthy rivers, and wildlife habitat, and the creation of trails in the Montana headwaters of the Missouri and Upper Yellowstone Rivers. For more information, visit www.gvlt.org.