Mount Dean Stone

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The Final Mount Dean Stone Preserve Recreation and Special Resource Management Plan is Approved

The final Mount Dean Stone Preserve Recreation and Special Resource Management Plan was adopted by the Missoula Parks and Recreation Board on March 9, 2021. Adoption of the plan followed a 2-week public comment period and wraps up a more than year long process to develop the recreation and natural resource management priorities for the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Implementation of the plan begins right away, with the goal of opening the property to the public later this summer, weather and funding dependent.

The Mount Dean Stone Preserve is located in the South Hills, situated between Pattee Canyon and Miller Creek. Parks and Recreation opened the Barmeyer and Sousa trails on the mountain in 2018. The new management plan outlines future trail connections and construction of new non-motorized routes around the summit, as well as natural resource conservation and wildlife management priorities.

Read the final Plan in the documents section to the right, or phone Conservation Lands Program Specialist Clancy Jandreau at 552-6739 for more information.

Latest Open Space Acquisition

The Missoula City Council approved the purchase of 350 acres of open space land on Mount Dean Stone to provide a new publicly accessible recreational trail and protect scenic open space and wildlife habitat.

The Mount Dean Stone Corridor opens over five miles of new trail route on the south side of Missoula, above the South Hills Spur and the Barmeyer Trail. The Corridor promotes health, wellness, and social equity through the delivery of unparalleled recreational opportunities. Conserving these lands will help Missoula adapt to climate change and plan for sustainable growth that is responsive to community needs. In December 2020, the City Council approved spending $925,000 in Open Space funds to acquire the 350-acre Mount Dean Stone Corridor from Five Valleys Land Trust, which Five Valleys Land Trust will match with a $1.6 million-dollar contribution to the project.

Promoting Health, Wellness, and Social Equity

The Mount Dean Stone Corridor promotes health, wellness, and social equity by significantly expanding Missoula’s trail system. The trail on the Corridor is being developed at an 8% grade, which is less steep than many of the trails around Missoula and is suitable for a broad array of Missoula’s residents. The Mount Dean Stone Corridor will expand the limited number of places where the City’s recreation programming can give people of all ages the opportunity to grow, experience, learn, and enjoy the natural world around them. Delivering both physical and mental health benefits, the proposed conservation lands will provide an outstanding recreational corridor where people can get exercise and connect with each other in nature.

Adapting to Climate Change and Protecting Human Safety

The Corridor proposal helps meet the goals and strategies prioritized in the 2020 Climate Ready Missoula Plan and Missoula County’s 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Located adjacent to the City, the acquisition of the Mount Dean Stone Corridor would help the Missoula community adapt to climate change by eliminating residential development in a high wildfire risk area, reducing wildfire risk to both structures and first responders. Last fall, in order to promote long-term forest health and reduce wildfire risk, Five Valleys Land Trust completed a forest health improvement project on the Mount Dean Stone Corridor lands closest to Missoula. Under Conservation Lands Management, the City can further buffer developed areas from wildfire through appropriate forest management.

Winding through scenic forested land at the edge of Missoula, the Corridor will also provide a shady place to get outside in a warming world. Its carefully designed trail system will provide exceptional recreational experiences close to where people live, which will promote non-motorized transportation and reduce emissions from vehicles as well as dependency on fossil fuels.

Planning with Vision

The Corridor balances land uses by conserving land with significant public access and natural resource values without reducing the availability of land that is suitable for meeting Missoula’s affordable housing needs. Missoula’s Growth Policy guides residential and commercial development inward where services and housing can be developed more economically and efficiently. The Growth Policy also recognizes that a primary, character-defining feature of Missoula is its connection with natural and scenic resources and that outdoor recreation is an essential part of the Missoula community’s character and way of life. The Corridor proposal supports Missoula’s efforts to provide a safe and healthy quality of life for our growing community through accessible open space conservation and recreation programs on lands appropriate for conservation.

Community Support

Over the last five years, hundreds of Missoula residents, as well as dozens of businesses and partnering organizations and agencies, have celebrated and invested in the conservation of Mount Dean Stone. They’ve pulled weeds, designed and developed trails, shared their expertise, and contributed generously to this grassroots community effort. With their support, Five Valleys Land Trust facilitated the Mount Dean Stone Corridor proposal and brings $1.6 million dollars in match to the project.


The Final Mount Dean Stone Preserve Recreation and Special Resource Management Plan is Approved

The final Mount Dean Stone Preserve Recreation and Special Resource Management Plan was adopted by the Missoula Parks and Recreation Board on March 9, 2021. Adoption of the plan followed a 2-week public comment period and wraps up a more than year long process to develop the recreation and natural resource management priorities for the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Implementation of the plan begins right away, with the goal of opening the property to the public later this summer, weather and funding dependent.

The Mount Dean Stone Preserve is located in the South Hills, situated between Pattee Canyon and Miller Creek. Parks and Recreation opened the Barmeyer and Sousa trails on the mountain in 2018. The new management plan outlines future trail connections and construction of new non-motorized routes around the summit, as well as natural resource conservation and wildlife management priorities.

Read the final Plan in the documents section to the right, or phone Conservation Lands Program Specialist Clancy Jandreau at 552-6739 for more information.

Latest Open Space Acquisition

The Missoula City Council approved the purchase of 350 acres of open space land on Mount Dean Stone to provide a new publicly accessible recreational trail and protect scenic open space and wildlife habitat.

The Mount Dean Stone Corridor opens over five miles of new trail route on the south side of Missoula, above the South Hills Spur and the Barmeyer Trail. The Corridor promotes health, wellness, and social equity through the delivery of unparalleled recreational opportunities. Conserving these lands will help Missoula adapt to climate change and plan for sustainable growth that is responsive to community needs. In December 2020, the City Council approved spending $925,000 in Open Space funds to acquire the 350-acre Mount Dean Stone Corridor from Five Valleys Land Trust, which Five Valleys Land Trust will match with a $1.6 million-dollar contribution to the project.

Promoting Health, Wellness, and Social Equity

The Mount Dean Stone Corridor promotes health, wellness, and social equity by significantly expanding Missoula’s trail system. The trail on the Corridor is being developed at an 8% grade, which is less steep than many of the trails around Missoula and is suitable for a broad array of Missoula’s residents. The Mount Dean Stone Corridor will expand the limited number of places where the City’s recreation programming can give people of all ages the opportunity to grow, experience, learn, and enjoy the natural world around them. Delivering both physical and mental health benefits, the proposed conservation lands will provide an outstanding recreational corridor where people can get exercise and connect with each other in nature.

Adapting to Climate Change and Protecting Human Safety

The Corridor proposal helps meet the goals and strategies prioritized in the 2020 Climate Ready Missoula Plan and Missoula County’s 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Located adjacent to the City, the acquisition of the Mount Dean Stone Corridor would help the Missoula community adapt to climate change by eliminating residential development in a high wildfire risk area, reducing wildfire risk to both structures and first responders. Last fall, in order to promote long-term forest health and reduce wildfire risk, Five Valleys Land Trust completed a forest health improvement project on the Mount Dean Stone Corridor lands closest to Missoula. Under Conservation Lands Management, the City can further buffer developed areas from wildfire through appropriate forest management.

Winding through scenic forested land at the edge of Missoula, the Corridor will also provide a shady place to get outside in a warming world. Its carefully designed trail system will provide exceptional recreational experiences close to where people live, which will promote non-motorized transportation and reduce emissions from vehicles as well as dependency on fossil fuels.

Planning with Vision

The Corridor balances land uses by conserving land with significant public access and natural resource values without reducing the availability of land that is suitable for meeting Missoula’s affordable housing needs. Missoula’s Growth Policy guides residential and commercial development inward where services and housing can be developed more economically and efficiently. The Growth Policy also recognizes that a primary, character-defining feature of Missoula is its connection with natural and scenic resources and that outdoor recreation is an essential part of the Missoula community’s character and way of life. The Corridor proposal supports Missoula’s efforts to provide a safe and healthy quality of life for our growing community through accessible open space conservation and recreation programs on lands appropriate for conservation.

Community Support

Over the last five years, hundreds of Missoula residents, as well as dozens of businesses and partnering organizations and agencies, have celebrated and invested in the conservation of Mount Dean Stone. They’ve pulled weeds, designed and developed trails, shared their expertise, and contributed generously to this grassroots community effort. With their support, Five Valleys Land Trust facilitated the Mount Dean Stone Corridor proposal and brings $1.6 million dollars in match to the project.


Ask a question

Questions about the project? Ask Open Space Program Manager Grant Carlson.

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    Where are the trails for those 65 and older that can't walk 9+ miles? The plan needs to provide for some ATV/4-wheeler use and connectivity to existing FS roads.

    jimm asked 3 months ago

    Hello Jimm,

    Thanks for your question regarding accessible trails on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Unfortunately, steep topography and narrow trail corridors prevented us from building more universally accessible trails. While the City of Missoula does not manage for motorized access on City Conservation Lands, planning to connect the trails on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve to adjacent Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy lands are ongoing.

     

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    So are you just responding to questions? Or are you accepting public input; very different! My comment is, we need out door spaces where dogs are not allowed and neither are bikers. I feel I have no where to go in peace. Many people here have several large dogs, many of whom do not keep them on leases or pick up the poop. I can't go anywhere in to enjoy solitude and peace. Also, when I go to the places around Missoula, there is no wildlife; it's because dogs and bikers scare them off. If I am put off by these intrusive people and dogs, I can imagine how the wildlife feels. Dogs and bikes need to have some space, but not everywhere. It is out of control here in Missoula. Generations of my family have been born and raised in Montana, and now our quiet spaces are over run by dogs and bikes. I am sick of wreckreation...they need limits and containment and should not just be given carte blanche all the time. I realize they will scream bloody murder and have tantrums if they have any limits set on them, but some responsible, adult person needs to do it.

    Patty99 asked 3 months ago

    Hello Patty99,

    Thank you for your comment and concern regarding dogs and bikes on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. While we share your concern for wildlife and responsible pet owners, we also strive to balance the demands of many users who recreate on our lands and support our ability to continue to provide diverse recreational experiences. That is why on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve, in particular, we are planning both pedestrian-only trails where bikes are not allowed and multi-use trails where bikes are allowed. We are also planning to close the most sensitive area to dogs from December 1 - May 1 of each year to protect wintering elk.  We believe these steps are reasonable attempts to balance the needs of diverse recreational users and the needs of wildlife.  Please see our draft Management Plan, available here https://www.engagemissoula.com/mount-dean-stone, for more details.

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    Why won't the city or fwp close the barmeyer tr in the late writer (Jan thru march) until 10 am every morning I watch people from my house chasing the elk up the hill and their dogs I don't want it closed all the time just first thing in the morning let the elk feed up in the trees and bed down

    Eric tomaszewski asked 3 months ago

    Hello Eric,

    Thank you for your question regarding a winter morning closure on the Barmeyer trail. The suggestion is good, but likely difficult to enforce. Perhaps this is an issue that can be approached with better education. It seems likely that many recreationists do not know what impact they may be having on elk or other wildlife. We will be installing some educational signage on the property which will address this issue in part. 

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    Where will everyone park at barmeyer trailhead? Isn't there clear needs to for access and parking from Larch Camp road and from mansion heights?? Where will older people, 74 years old, like me hike from?

    asked 3 months ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for your questions regarding parking and access on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Parking to access the Mount Dean Stone Preserve will be available at the Barmeyer Trailhead parking lot and on-street parking at the Sousa Trailhead on Spanish Peaks Drive. The City is continuing to pursue opportunities to expand parking in this area, but there are not any immediately viable options. Trail connections that are currently in the planning phase may help to add additional access points and distribute use. Currently, the Sousa Trailhead provides the best access for individuals who prefer a less steep trail.

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    I support! Would live to know the mixed use plans. Mountain biking, hiking, horse?

    Trob asked 6 months ago

    Hello Trob,

    Thank you for your question regarding our multi-use plans for the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Please see the draft Management Plan for details. Its available here: https://www.engagemissoula.com/mount-dean-stone. The plan includes both pedestrian only trails and non-motorized trails open to bikes and pedestrians. Trails are not open to horses due to site constraints and safety concerns.

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    Who will be the stewards of the property? Weed control, timberland management, trail maintenance etc.

    Andy Hayes asked 6 months ago

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for your question regarding the stewardship of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. All management of the City-owned portions of Mount Dean Stone will be conducted by the Conservation Lands Management Program of Missoula Parks and Recreation. 

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    So I live on mount Dean stone full time. Actually for the last 19 years. Ever since five valley’s started this project I have seen nothing but increased activity and disruption of the wildlife habitat. What is you plan to keep these people from trespassing? As it has already become a problem and will only increase.

    Clang asked 6 months ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for your question regarding trespass issues on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. The issue of potential trespass into surrounding private lands is something that we have considered carefully and address expressly in the draft Management Plan that we are currently working on. If you have not had a chance to review the draft plan, it is available here https://www.engagemissoula.com/mount-dean-stone. In the most narrow corridors where the potential for trespass is highest, we will use jackleg fencing, gates, and signage to encourage users to stay on trail and on public land.