LWCF Acquisition Protects Harrison Creek Property from Inappropriate uses, Strengthens Integrity of Glacier Ecosystem
Whitefish, MT – Glacier National Park has taken ownership of its wild heritage and colorful history, with the purchase of a 120-acre inholding located along Harrison Creek. The homestead property, known as the Doody Ranch, completes what has been a missing link in the historical and natural continuity of Glacier National Park – connecting wildlife to critical habitats, and communities to their unique Western past. The National Parks Conservation Association applauds the purchase of this historic homestead, which is a popular stop along the Middle Fork Flathead River due to its unique history and the recreational access it provides.
“Ownership of this parcel really means shared ownership of our past, and it represents a down payment on our future, as well,” said NPCA Glacier Program Manager Michael Jamison. “Glacier National Park is not just our inheritance, but also our legacy to future generations.”
The homestead – located in a designated Wild and Scenic River corridor – preserves the story of Dan Doody and his wife, Josephine. He was a poacher, a prospector and an early park ranger; she was a fugitive, a moonshiner, and a baker of fine berry pies, known for her gold-nugget earrings. Their ranch was — and is today — an important route for Glacier’s wildlife, providing a link between the river bottom and critical winter range.
“The purchase of Harrison Creek is a smart, responsible investment in Montana’s treasured outdoors. This decision by the Parks Service will benefit the Flathead’s economy and guarantee public access for future generations. And I’ll keep working to improve access to Montana’s public places and to protect the history that shaped them,” said Sen. Tester.
NPCA spent months working alongside conservation partners such as the Trust for Public Land, local leaders and congressional decision makers to complete the purchase of this significant park inholding. The exchange was made possible through the Land Water and Conservation Fund (LWCF), an account supported by royalties collected from off-shore drilling contracts. Established in 1964, LWCF is used by federal agencies for the purchase of important land and waterways inside or adjacent to park units. In this case, the Doody Homestead was located entirely within Glacier’s boundaries, and its purchase assures consistent public ownership of Glacier’s Middle Fork River corridor. Unfortunately, purchases such as these have been jeopardized, as Congress has increasingly diverted much of the funding from this account for other purposes.
“Compromising significant historical acquisitions such as the Doody Ranch due to a lack of LWCF funding would rob the American public and future generations of the important places and stories we have inherited,” Jamison added. “Investing in LWCF protects treasured landscapes, ensures economic sustainability for our gateway communities, and maintains our connections to a shared Western history.”
The project was among NPCA’s top priorities submitted to the national America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) process. Designed to encourage outdoor recreation and to improve access to important public lands, AGO is a multi-agency initiative launched in 2010. By preserving Glacier Park’s natural values as well as its cultural history, the Harrison Creek purchase fulfills the AGO mission of reconnecting Americans with their outdoor heritage, particularly our national parks.
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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