HELENA — After years of negotiation, a deal has been finalized between Prickly Pear Land Trust and the Whyte Family to protect 72 acres of land along the LeGrande Cannon Trail.
The property is to the west of Mount Helena and follows a former roadway.
The Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT) has been working for years to get the land purchased and protected from future developers.
The goal is to permanently protect public access to land mostly south of the trail and preserve the open spaces.
Mary Hollow, executive director of PPLT, said the land is very important to not only the residents of Helena but also to future generations, and preservation of the land is crucial.
With the sale complete, PPLT will donate it to the city of Helena.
Hollow stated, “This project is just assuring that everything along the LeGrande Cannon Trail and the south just up the west flank of the Mount Helena will remain undeveloped.”
Evan Kulesa, trails coordinator, shed some light on what residents of Helena can expect from the sale, saying, “The two main management concerns that are going to be tackled this summer are the tree thinning and then the noxious weed abatement — and developing plans for those.”
PPLT raised some of the money for the purchase through private donations.
Some funding also came from a U.S. Department of Defense program aimed at preserving flight paths around military installations like Fort Harrison.
-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News