Our Story

Promoting wholeness in our forests and in our community.
The Yaak Valley Forest Council formed in 1997 because local residents were concerned with the health and management of the forest lands in which we reside.

Prior to YVFC’s conception there had never been a lasting, organized effort of Yaak Valley based residents to advocate and implement conservation, and restoration programs focused on the valley’s wildlife habitat for the many vulnerable species living here.
Now, after over twenty years of operation, YVFC has a majority of local support and high levels of support nationally, establishing a strong conservation presence which builds on shared goals to protect the Yaak Valley – a low elevation inland rainforest which serves as a crucial migration route for grizzly bears.

Our work focuses on permanent protection of wild areas, habitat restoration, connectivity, conservation education, and community development. We work in the woods and we work in town. Our goal of building a restoration workforce and keeping people working in the woods is on the way to being realized, as we employ eight local people permanently, as well as eight to ten seasonal fieldworkers.

YVFC is led by residents of the Yaak Valley who know the landscape intimately, who have a high level of field experience, and who have developed strong collaborative projects with other grassroots groups, as well as county, state, and federal officials.

We share a commitment to the valley that requires tenacity to ensure that future resource management of the Yaak Valley continues to move toward a local model based on stewardship principles of forestry, including habitat conservation and restoration and permanent protection of the last roadless areas through the Wilderness Act of 1964.