Mission, Vision & History

PPLT MissionLands within Montana’s Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, Powell and Broadwater counties have undergone significant change during the past 20 years. Much of the predominantly rural land immediately surrounding the city of Helena has been converted from open space. As the population has increased, recreational opportunities, uninterrupted views and open lands have diminished and access to open lands, both public and private, has been closed off.

Prickly Pear Land Trust is committed to the belief that open space is essential to the well-being of all communities. Spacious views, abundant wildlife, and recreational opportunities renew and revitalize our spirits. Maintaining traditional agricultural lands preserves Montana’s cultural heritage. At Prickly Pear Land Trust, we seek to preserve and protect the rural character of the Prickly Pear Valley and adjoining lands in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, Broadwater and Powell counties through voluntary and cooperative means. Further, we strive to connect people to their natural surroundings though trails and access to public lands.


Our Mission

“To inspire connections to the landscapes, water, wildlife, recreation and agricultural heritage of west-central Montana through conservation, now and for future generations.”

Our Core Values

In support of our mission, the core values of Prickly Pear Land Trust define our organizational culture:

  • Support the enhancement and restoration of conservation values of strategically identified lands.
  • Protect and steward strategically identified open spaces in perpetuity.
  • Provide easy trail access and open spaces that interconnect our community for all to enjoy.
  • Provide information to the community on resource conservation and open space issues.
  • Conduct and communicate our business with openness and integrity.
  • Be responsive to, representative of, and in service to our community, or, serve those in our community who have interests in open space and conservation.
  • Instill a connection with the land that fosters its permanent protection.

Why Now?

The Helena area has grown at rates exceeding the national average. Between 2000 and 2010, Jefferson and Lewis and Clark counties each grew by more than 13 percent and Broadwater County grew by 28 percent. Over the last two decades, the population of Prickly Pear Land Trust’s service area has grown by 34 percent. Our mission to conserve open space in our communities has never been more vital.