The Ravalli County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to fund a 176-acre conservation easement on the Roy Ranch in Victor with Open Lands Bond funds, preserving the land as agricultural open space and wildlife habitat in perpetuity.
A property rich with family history, the land and original 1890’s farmhouse was originally purchased by current landowner Danny Roy’s grandmother Myrtle Roy in the 1940’s. After returning from the service, Danny’s father Ivan Roy moved onto the property to begin what would come to be a longstanding family tradition of farming and ranching with his wife and six children.
Nearly 80 years later, the land is still primarily used for agricultural production. In addition to providing hay and pasture for cattle, the property’s timber, wetlands, and open meadows provide habitat for a variety of native species, including elk, moose, bear, and turkeys.
“The Bitter Root Land Trust is honored to partner with Danny to help realize his long standing conservation vision on behalf of his family,” said Kyle Barber, Conservation Director for the Bitter Root Land Trust. “Properties like this are what make the Bitterroot such a special place to live. The Roy Ranch is known and loved by many throughout the valley, with folks often going out of their way to drive along and photograph this stunning property. We’re grateful Danny chose to conserve his way of life for the benefit of future generations.”
The Roy Ranch Conservation Easement was funded by the Open Lands Program, after review by the Open Lands Board and the Ravalli County Commissioners. The program provides funding to support landowners who wish to voluntarily conserve their land.
“The Open Lands Program is very excited to help conserve this beautiful piece of property that Danny and his family have taken great care of over time,” said Paul Moore, Chair of the Open Lands Board. “One of the many great things about the County’s Open Lands Program is the matching funding that it attracts from outside sources to help make our local dollars go farther, like the Farm Bill. On average, every $1 of Open Lands funding
is matched by $3 from other sources. This gives us the ability to stretch our local bond funds significantly, conserving more family farms and ranches like the Roy’s.”
Ravalli County voters approved the popular program in November 2006, providing $10 million to help local landowners voluntarily preserve prime agricultural lands, important waterways, and protect critical wildlife habitat. Last month, County Commissioners voted unanimously to place renewal of the program on the November 2022 ballot, per request by the Ravalli County Right to Farm and Ranch Board.
“This ranch means the world to me, and it’s the only home I’ve ever known,” said landowner Danny Roy. “My vision for my property is to preserve it as a farm and ranch for agriculture and wildlife, honoring my father’s dream. I cannot imagine this property ever being split or subdivided.”
To learn more about the Ravalli County Open Lands Program, visit the Ravalli County website: ravalli.us/189/Open-Lands-Bond-Program