There’s a boulder in the Centennial Valley with one corner polished smooth as glass by the countless bison who’ve rubbed against it. Over the centuries, native people were sustained by the burly animals that grew fat on the valley’s grass and scratched their wooly heads on that rock. As the years unfolded, homesteaders came with great hopes; but so many left defeated by the relentless wind and grueling winter. The vast bison herds and the native hunting parties are also long gone. But that rock endures.
Endurance. It’s a word that epitomizes The Nature Conservancy and our work in Montana. Our endurance is more than the three decades we’ve devoted to preserving the special places in our state. It’s more than the 854-thousand acres protected or the many friends and partners we’ve gained over the years. It has as much to do with our commitment to the future, as the accomplishments of the past.
Our strength lies in our dedication to conservation that delivers benefits for the ages. We think beyond a single watershed or individual property. That’s why we may spend years working with a landowner to place an easement, or figuring out how a farmer can modify an irrigation system so that fish can reach their breeding waters. These days, our ability to endure is also being tested by a tough economic climate. But, like that rock, we’re standing fast.
With the support of a brilliant staff, dedicated partners and extraordinary donors, we continue to deliver conservation that endures.March 09, 2011