Prickly Pear Land Trust finalizes sale to protect land from developers

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 20:35:07-04

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 the public access to land mostly south of the trail, and preserve the open spaces.

Mary Hollow, executive director of PPLT said that the land is very important to not only the residents of Helena but future generations to come, and preservation of the land is crucial.

With the sale complete, PPLT will donate it to the City of Helena.

Hollow stated, “And, 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 are that are going to be tackled this summer are the tree thinning, and then the noxious weed abatemen,t and developing plans for those, and anything in terms of formalizing access and formalizing a trail network.”

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.