The Alberton Gorge with its rose-colored canyon walls and spine-tingling whitewater is a natural treasure. After more than a decade of effort, the 320 acres of former Montana Power Company lands adjacent to the Alberton Gorge on Montana's Clark Fork River are being transferred into public ownership. These lands form a corridor along the popular Class III whitewater reach west of Missoula on I-90. Transferring these lands to public ownership ensures public access to this reach of river in perpetuity as well as protects the scenic backdrop in the river corridor. On Wednesday, June 29th we will celebrate the land transfer with other river enthusiasts and the many people and organizations that made the conservation of Alberton Gorge possible.
This conservation success is a result of years of effort and negotiations spawned by local whitewater enthusiasts, Montana Power, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, American Whitewater and River Network. Peter Dayton, a local Missoula boater, was instrumental in getting this concept for a land exchange on American Whitewater's agenda and the radar of other river conservation organizations. Visit the American Whitewater website for additional information on the transfer of these 320 acres into public ownership (see article).
American Whitewater is highly appreciative of Peter Dayton's vision and decade of effort as well as Greg Tollefson's willingness to take this project on for Five Valleys Land Trust. American Whitewater also appreciates the vision and commitment for river corridor land protection exhibited by River Network, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Lolo National Forest, Montana Power Company and Northwestern Energy. Lastly, we would like to thank the W. C. Kenney Watershed Protection Foundation, which contributed $15,000 that was instrumental in the initial phases of purchasing the land. The conservation of Alberton Gorge was truly a collaborative effort that we should all be very proud of.