BIG SKY – Gallatin Valley land Trust completed its 120th conservation easement last week. Property owners and longtime locals Harald and Peggy Ring placed their property by Beaver Creek, located about three miles south of Big Sky, into the conservation easement after stewarding it for the past 30 years.
GVLT conservation easements are a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and GVLT that permanently limits use of the land in order to protect its conservation values from future development.
“The land serves as both year-round and seasonal habitat for native plants, fish, and wildlife, including elk, grizzly bear, gray wolf, mule deer, moose, mountain lion, sandhill crane, and grouse,” according to a Nov. 17 GVLT statement. The 200-acre property will help protect the wildlife, wide-open spaces of the landscape, and Beaver Creek serving as an important cold-water input of the Gallatin River.
“By limiting future residential or commercial development of this parcel through the establishment of a conservation easement, this landscape will be protected on behalf of the greater community, thus promoting the perpetuation of the scenic rural feel of Gallatin County,” GVLT write in the statement.
The Rings settled into Big Sky in the early 1970s just before the official opening of Big Sky Resort. Harry opened and co-owned Lone Mountain Sports while Peggy owned design and home-accessory stores in both the Meadow and Mountain villages. Peggy was one of the first people to ever ski the Big Couloir with her poodle trailing behind, according to the statement.
The 200 acres will contribute to the total 51,148 acres GVLT has placed in their conservation easements as they continue to work to protect the scenic space we live in.