Landowners were regarded on Friday Nov. 15 at the State Capitol for going the additional mile and being a decent neighbor to their kindred Montanans.
This is the thirteenth year of the Montana Good Neighbor grants which are given to the individuals who exemplify participation, land stewardship and preservation morals, neighborly land access and network administration.
“Through our commitment to shared stewardship, we’re demonstrating that the health and resiliency of our local economies and our natural resources go hand in hand,” Lt. Governor Mike Cooney told the honorees.
“You’re setting an example of what can be accomplished when we put others ahead of ourselves. I hope that by recognizing each of you today, it will inspire more Montanans to join your efforts to be good neighbors.”
The current year’s honorees incorporate Jeff Janke of Avon; Barry Dexter of the Stimson Lumber Company in Missoula; the Stimson Lumber Company; Kip and Adele Stenson of Hodges; Jamie, Ben, Marie and Bob Lehfeldt and Lehfeldt Rambouillets of Lavina; and the Sunlight Ranch Company of Hardin, which incorporates the Holding Family, Bret Barney, Bryan Elliot, Brandon Collingwood and the Sunlight Cowboys.
Janke has attempted to reestablish parts of the Little Blackfoot River on their property while keeping up their cows farming activity.
“Being on the conservation district I’ve seen the need for habitat improvement and the way to do that is through partnerships,” said Janke. “If you’re not willing to share, then people often aren’t willing to share with you.”
The farm has generally enabled access to the property for angling, and Janke says individuals have constantly regarded having that entrance.
“I built a little parking area for the fishermen to park and I have noticed that if there is a pop can or a piece of garbage, the next one that comes in picks it up. I don’t have to,” said Janke.
The Montana Neighbor Awards is a working gathering made up of protection associations from around the state including FWP; Montana Association of Land Trusts; Montana Farm Bureau; Artemis Common Ground; The Nature Conservancy of Montana and Montana Council of Trout Unlimited.