Community Development & Conservation Education

Due to Covid-19 we are managing our  programs to reduce risk.  

The Yaak Valley Forest Council develops community growth projects in the Yaak and across Lincoln County through outreach, education, and bold action. We believe in building strong, vibrant, sustainable, and environmentally friendly communities in the Yaak and throughout Lincoln County. We forge lasting partnerships and relationships with Lincoln County's stakeholders to achieve this. We partner with the Kootenai Climate Group to reduce the effects of climate change in our local area and campaign for creating a Climate Refuge in the wild Yaak. If you would like to contribute to Community Development in the wild Yaak or have any questions about our work, please contact Ashley South at or 406-295-9736.


Bear aware and bear safe

The Yaak Valley Forest Council has developed a Bear Aware Program to reduce confrontations between bears and humans. Our program offers Yaak community members bear-proof trash cans and electric fences to protect livestock, gardens, feed, and trash. This year we added bear-proof backpacking canisters, bear spray, and bear bells.

Another recent addition to our Bear Aware Program is the promotion of bear-proof coolers by YETI. We have recently partnered with YETI to promote responsible recreation and protection of food from grizzly bears. YETI’s bear-proof coolers provide an opportunity to educate the public about bears and the work of the Yaak Valley Forest Council.

Conservation education

We are using our social media platforms to launch an outreach education program focused on increasing biodiversity awareness, insight into invasive weeds biology and effective non-toxic methods for weeds eradication, wildlands conservation in the face of climate change, and much, much more.


Recreational support

As members of the Troy Recreation Committee, we are working on developing a cycling park next to the Troy Museum with a pump track, camping spots, showers, and bathrooms to be offered for cyclists and primitive recreationists traveling through. This group was formed to increase recreational opportunities in the Troy area and drive local economic growth in the tourism industry.

Alvord Lake Community Forest

The Yaak Valley Forest Council, in collaboration with other land managers and the Lincoln County community, works to keep the Alvord Lake Forest open to the public for activities like hiking, canoeing, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The Alvord Lake Community Forest is a  collaborative success story and an example of finding common ground to preserve and manage our forests for future generations. 

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Guided hikes

During the summer months, we partner with the Montana Wilderness Association’s Wilderness Walks Program to provide fun and educational hiking opportunities in the Yaak Valley. Our Field Crew Leader carefully chooses hikes that offer great views and examples of the biological diversity found in the wild Yaak. This year, our Field Crew will be leading two hikes. If you would like to participate, please contact us.


Photo contest

Each year, the Yaak Valley Forest Council hosts the Lincoln County Photo Contest. This is a great way to capture the beauty and uniqueness of the wild and remote Yaak area and builds community connections through wild experiences.