New Public Access to the Madison River Thanks to The Nature Conservancy and Roger Lang


Public access to 300 acres of land alongside the Madison River in Montana.
Robison Tract Public access to 300 acres of land alongside the Madison River in Montana. © TNC

The public is receiving an exciting gift of conservation this season with the addition of 300 acres of land along the Madison River to Bureau of Land Management ownership. The Nature Conservancy and Roger Lang, who jointly owned the property, are extremely pleased that the land will continue to conserve vital habitat for elk and mule deer while creating new walk-in access to the river for the public.

The property, which lies between Highway 287 and BLM land alongside the river (see full size map), is adjacent to private land that is protected by conservation easements and contiguous with a large block of public land (BLM and Fish, Wildlife & Parks) that includes the Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area.

“That connection to public land multiplies the conservation value of this acquisition by tenfold,” according to Jim Berkey, TNC’s Director for the High Divide Headwaters Program. “This transfer helps us realize a greater conservation vision for this stretch of the cherished Madison River. We are proud to be part of a Madison Valley partnership to create a long-term solution that secures the integrity of the land and river for the benefit of both people and nature.”

TNC and Lang purchased the land, once a part of the Robison Ranch, in 2000 as a way to protect it from encroaching subdivision that had already begun south of the property.

“TNC and I bought this land with full intent to conserve the open space for elk and mule deer wintering habitat. It has also has been the gatekeeper to five miles of some of the most magnificent stretches of river anywhere in Montana. By selling it to the BLM, the public will now have appropriate access for a superlative walk-in and wade-only experience. I could not be happier about this outcome,” says Lang, CEO of Predicta, Inc.

Dillon BLM Field Manager Cornie Hudson said she is also pleased with how the acquisition came together.  “This is another great example of how working with our partners Roger Lang (landowner), TNC and the Madison River Foundation can bring about a lasting benefit to the public.”

Completion of this sale was made possible with funding from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Madison River Foundation. The LWCF is currently expired and unfunded.  Without action by Congress, important habitat and access projects like this one will become impossible in the future.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.