Canyon Cattle Co.

Join the Effort to Conserve Miles of the Mighty Mo’

The Canyon Cattle Conservation Easement will forever protect a treasured 4.5-mile long stretch of the Missouri River along Interstate 15 from Craig to the Dearborn River confluence. By Montana State Law, the Missouri River is a public access corridor below a high watermark. This means, by protecting the ground above high water, for five miles, you can walk, fish, hunt, or swim along the Missouri River without the burden of buildings at your back.

This will be the second-largest easement funded through the Open Space Program. It will secure the backdrop of three popular public access sites at Spite Hill, Stickney Creek, and the Dearborn on the eastern shore of the Missouri River. This stretch supports the local economy by annually generating nearly $65 million dollars. Every year, roughly 150,000 anglers visit this river by boat, foot or both. Making it the second most popular fishery in the state of Montana.

The Canyon Cattle Co. Conservation easement will:

Help us get across the finish line

 If you are a Lewis and Clark County resident and would like the County Commissioners to approve funding for

The Canyon Cattle Co. Conservation Easement, please sign our letter of support. 


Notable Values


  • Visual conservation values: The property is adjacent to and very visible from the Missouri River. The easement will protect 4.5 miles of Missouri River shoreline that is visited by 154,582 anglers per year by boat, foot or combination. (Per FWP) *Note this figure does not include the large number of recreational floaters that frequent this stretch of the river. Every year, 2.3 million vehicles drive by this location, enjoying bucolic views and unfettered landscape along I-15. (Per MDT)
  • Protects a large local economic driver: This section of river is the 2nd most popular water body for anglers in the state, seeing an annual 154,582 visits in 2019. (Per FWP). This section of the Missouri river generates $65 million in local angling expenditures annually. (Per FWP)
  • Wildlife: The property is frequented by a variety of wildlife including whitetail and mule deer, elk, bighorn, black bear, wolf, wild turkey and numerous other notable species. The Missouri shoreline and adjacent river is home for a large number of migratory bird species and of course, trout – in fact this stretch of the Missouri hosts between 3,500 and 5,500 trout per mile on average for any given year making it one of the densely populated trout fisheries in the United States. 
  • Agriculture: Allows the continuation of a locally owned 5,000 acre cattle operation.
  • Water: Protects the water quality of the Missouri River and nearby Dearborn River from pollution associated with residential septic systems and storm runoff from roads.
  • Wildfire: Significantly lowers the risk of property damage or life associated with wildland fire.

Site Map

The Juedeman family, four siblings, and their mother, the owners of the Canyon Cattle Company, have begun the process of protecting the newest and one of the largest conservation easements in west-central Montana. No doubt, this property is also one of the most visible. Tucked between the river and Interstate 15, the nearly 4,000-acre cattle ranch can be viewed not only by fishermen but from the 2.3 million vehicles that drive by the property annually, either via I-15 or Recreation Road, across the river.

Entering a ranch into a conservation easement can be an arduous process. This project began with a generous financial contribution of half of the land’s assessed value by the Juedeman family. Their significant contribution will be supplemented by public money. To make ends meet, PPLT is turning to the Lewis and Clark County Open Space Bond fund, a voter-supported initiative to support projects like this.