panorama of Safe Harbor Marsh, Montana with a river running through it.
Montana Safe Harbor Marsh © TNC

Newsroom

The Nature Conservancy Returns Traditional Lands to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Confederated Salish and Kootenia Tribes of the Flathead Reservation logo.
© Confederated Salish and Kootenia Tribes of the Flathead Reservation

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and The Nature Conservancy are happy to announce transfer of the 132-acre Safe Harbor Marsh Preserve to the CSKT people. The TNC preserve is within a larger block of CSKT-owned lands and it makes sense that it be owned entirely by the Tribes. TNC is pleased to see these traditional lands return to the hands of the CSKT.

“TNC originally purchased the property to protect its outstanding conservation values, centered around a large perennial wetland marsh. Transferring the property to CSKT will ensure those values remain protected and restore ownership to the original stewards of the land,” said TNC State Director Amy Croover.

The transfer is also helping fulfill a long-term vision of the Tribes.

“The wisdom and generosity expressed through the return of these lands is something we can hope others will see fit to follow,” said CSKT Chairwoman Shelly R. Fyant. “The rebuilding of the last remaining lands of our homeland has remained a key goal for our Council going back to our first Tribal Council in 1935. Our deepest thanks go out to The Nature Conservancy.”

The Preserve, located in Lake County, is part of a perennial wetland marsh, on Flathead Lake’s west shore, north of Polson. The Preserve  lies entirely within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation and is bordered on three sides by CSKT Tribal Trust Land.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and The Nature Conservancy are happy to announce transfer of the 132-acre Safe Harbor Marsh Preserve to the CSKT people. The TNC preserve is within a larger block of CSKT-owned lands and it makes sense that it be owned entirely by the Tribes. TNC is pleased to see these traditional lands return to the hands of the CSKT.

“TNC originally purchased the property to protect its outstanding conservation values, centered around a large perennial wetland marsh. Transferring the property to CSKT will ensure those values remain protected and restore ownership to the original stewards of the land,” said TNC State Director Amy Croover.

The transfer is also helping fulfill a long-term vision of the Tribes.

“The wisdom and generosity expressed through the return of these lands is something we can hope others will see fit to follow,” said CSKT Chairwoman Shelly R. Fyant. “The rebuilding of the last remaining lands of our homeland has remained a key goal for our Council going back to our first Tribal Council in 1935. Our deepest thanks go out to The Nature Conservancy.”

The Preserve, located in Lake County, is part of a perennial wetland marsh, on Flathead Lake’s west shore, north of Polson. The Preserve  lies entirely within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation and is bordered on three sides by CSKT Tribal Trust Land.

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 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.