Why We Need a Renewed Open Space Bond and Stewardship Levy

Missoula County residents have a tradition of protecting and caring for our open space, water and family farms and ranches. Access to rivers and trails are major part of our quality of life. Our communities are shaped by our shared conservation values, as well as by the recreational and economic opportunities provided by publicly accessible open space.

But the 2006 open space bond funds are nearly gone, and there is still critical conservation work to do to protect land, water and farmland for future generations. Passing a renewed county Open Space Bond and City Stewardship Levy ensures we can protect our quality of life, access to rivers and trails, and our agricultural heritage as Missoula County continues to grow into the future.

A renew county open space bond and a city stewardship levy will help:

  • Advance the Community Wildfire Protection Plan by buffering developed areas from wildfire and reducing residential development on forested land adjacent to public lands.

  • Help achieve the goal of the 2016 Missoula County Growth Policy to “conserve vital natural resources including surface and ground water, air quality, agricultural resources, iconic landscapes, fish and wildlife species and their habitats, and native plant communities.”

  • Improve public access to the Clark Fork River from downtown Missoula to Frenchtown to Bonner and beyond.

  • Create and maintain miles of new trails on Mount Dean Stone and Marshall Mountain, two of the keystone community legacy projects on the list of potential conservation lands funded by a new bond.

  • Protect the future of rural livelihoods for family ranches and farming operations.

  • Promote healthy active communities, also a priority of the 2016 Growth Policy.

  • Be leveraged to return 4 dollars per tax dollar spent, a solid return on investment for the approximately $3 a month it will cost for the average home owner in the city, even less for county residents.

  • The 2018 proposal includes a City stewardship levy to care for conservation lands such as Mount Jumbo and Mount Sentinel.

The proposed $15 million Open Space Bond measure will cost the median Missoula County homeowner less than $18 annually, or $1.50 per month. While in the City, the bond and a $500,000 City stewardship levy combined will cost the median Missoula City homeowner approximately $32 annually, or $2./0 a month.

Vote YES for the Open Space Bond  

Vote YES for the City Stewardship Levy

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Photo: Cathrine L Walters

Photo: Cathrine L Walters