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Great Western Checkerboards

In 2014, The Nature Conservancy initiated a collaborative conservation project, dubbed the Great Western Checkerboard Project, which will preserve recreational access and help conserve the ecological integrity of 165,073 acres (257 square miles) of forests, rivers and wildlife habitat in the eastern Cascade Mountain Range of Washington and in the Blackfoot River Valley in Montana. Through NatureVest, The Conservancy is using interim financing to acquire the lands from the Plum Creek Timber Company, including 47,921 acres in the Yakima River Headwaters in Washington and 117,152 acres in the Lower Blackfoot River Watershed in Montana.

In a historic land deal The Nature Conservancy today announced a $134 million conservation project that will expand recreational access and help conserve the ecological integrity of 165,073 acres – 257 square miles – of forests, rivers and wildlife habitat in Montana and Washington states.