Success Stories

The Gilmans

When I asked Les Gilman about his ranch and what it means to him, he took a long pause before he answered.

“There is a verse in the Bible,” he said, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

The Bergs

I pulled up to Rick and Gayle Berg’s ranch house, turned off my car, and stepped out to a wiggling, happy ranch dog and a vista most people will never get to see: the Castle Mountains towering over the south fork of the Musselshell River. And it was quiet – country quiet. Winter hadn’t taken hold yet, the sky was bright blue, and the sun was shining. It was a perfect day to sit down with Rick, Gayle, and their daughter Kari (pronounced Car-ee) at their ranch near Lennep, Montana – a little town between White Sulphur Springs and Harlowtown.

Mike & Deb Delaney

Thanks to a partnership with The Montana Land Reliance, the State of Montana, and the Delaney family, the 44 Ranch will stay the way it is for generations to come, and has become the first property protected in partnership with Montana’s Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program. The Delaneys are also the 2016 recipients of The Montana Land Reliance’s William F. Long Conservation Award, an award given to landowners who have worked to permanently protect significant bird habitat

Gary & Vic Anderson

If you have ever been lucky enough to float down Montana’s fabled Smith River, there’s a pretty good chance you have stopped off at Heaven On Earth Ranch, in the middle of the trip. And if you have stopped at Heaven on Earth Ranch, there’s a good chance you have enjoyed a Deep Creek Special, a fabulous concoction featuring cold orange juice that tastes like heaven itself, especially during a multiple-day river trip.

Sally & Dan Lilja

Sally Lilja grew up riding horseback in the forested hills around her hometown of Plains, Montana. She helped neighbors push cattle on a particularly lovely patch of ponderosa pine forest that overlooked a beautiful run of the Clark Fork River, so a few years ago when she was working at the local fire department and a plat for a new subdivision came in, her stomach fell. There, on ground where she had ridden as a youngster, was a planned housing development that would forever change the land she had loved.

Marc & Sherrie Pierce

It started with hunting. A love of hunting. Waterfowl in particular. Thirty years ago, Marc Pierce was a college student at Montana State University in Bozeman. And he was a passionate waterfowl hunter, a fever that he’d picked up as a kid hunting with Dad back home in Illinois.

Steve & Gretchen Burke

It started with a ski trip to Big Sky more than a decade ago and was fueled by a love of the land and outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and fly-fishing.

Mark Schiltz

Intuitively, Mark Schiltz knew that a lot of wildlife used his family’s property up on Wolf Creek in the Swan Valley near Bigfork. He could see sign and tracks. But he did not see many of the critters themselves.

Bob & Dana Emery

When Bob Emery first started coming to Bozeman on fishing adventures in the mid-1980s, the Gallatin Valley was a different place. The big box stores hadn’t discovered the area and 19th Avenue was a farm road more likely to see tractor traffic than automobiles.