Why Give

The Mission

The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) is Montana’s only state-wide land trust. It focuses solely on private land conservation through conservation easements, and has since 1978. This mission-driven focus has enabled the organization to become the national leader in private land conservation, with over 1,000,000 acres permanently protected by conservation easement with over 840 landowners.

Rural, working landscape preservation

MLR is also the state’s only agricultural land trust. Montana’s agricultural producers have worked with The Montana Land Reliance not only to forever protect the landscapes on which they have relied and loved for generations, but also to make sure that Montana’s next generations have the same opportunity. Conservation easements can facilitate and ease the transfer of ranch property to the next generation, and have been used by many as an effective estate planning tool. The Montana Land Reliance believes that those working on the land best know how to steward their properties and does not involve itself with day-to-day management concerns, but makes itself available as a resource if need be.

View MLR’s Conservation Atlas


The Montana Land Reliance’s conservation work has protected over 1,000,000 acres of land in Montana, the majority of which serves as indispensable wildlife habitat, or as permanently protected wildlife corridors, which animals use—and will forever use—to move among human developments.

Of MLR’s million protected acres, over 300,000 are located in the buffer areas surrounding Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, and in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. These protections prevent inappropriate development from encroaching on Montana’s wildest places. Nearly 550,000 protected acres are considered prime elk habitat, and through its work with riverfront landowners, MLR has protected 1,675 miles of freshwater streams and their corresponding riparian areas, as well as the wild trout in them.

Ecosystem Services

The Montana Land Reliance’s protected acreage produces a return on investment in terms of ecosystem services of over $300,000,000 annually. Ecosystem services are the products of nature that benefit people, and each is quantifiable. For example, MLR’s near 70,000 acres of protected wetlands filter water, which reduces water filtration and other costs to people. This acreage returns $54 million in associated services to people.

Read more about ecosystem services in MLR’s Annual Report


Everyone has his or her own reason to give! Please contact us with any questions you might have about MLR’s work.