The Jack Creek Preserve was created to permanently protect 4,500 acres and create an important migratory wildlife corridor between two sections of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. We steward and manage this landscape to increase biodiversity and maintain and improve habitat. The landscape is also used for plant and wildlife research, and conservation education.
One of the most important resources the Preserve possesses is its incredible wildlife populations. The Preserve boundary was specifically drawn in order to connect two separate sections of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and to protect important wildlife corridors from future development. At the heart of our mission is protecting regional wildlife habitat as well as teaching others about wildlife conservation.
Much of the Preserve’s 4500 acres is open range and meadow land. These areas are not only important for native wildlife, but for cattle that graze on the property through an agreement with the neighboring ranch. We understand the importance of supporting working lands while also sustaining healthy habitats – and believe it’s possible to do both at the same time. Plans for doing a range quality inventory and improving habitat in some areas are in development. We hope we can share our process as a demonstration project for local students and the greater community.
Many important water resources are located in the Preserve, including alpine lakes and streams, Hammond Creek, and much of the Jack Creek watershed. Monitoring the health of these resources is important to the Foundation, so we have maintained a monitoring program in partnership with the Madison Watershed District for several years.
Much of the area around and including the Preserve was logged in the past. Nearby property is also currently being developed, and free ranging cows may also transfer weeds. With these kinds of impacts, weed infestations are inevitable. In order to combat weeds on the property, the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation has worked with the WHE Bio-control of Weeds Project and Ennis High School teacher Mellissa Newman to plan a release of knapweed root boring beetles on the Preserve. Innovative weed management is important to the Preserve and will continue in the future.
Hunting is an important part of our heritage and wildlife management in Montana. It is a discipline that the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation seeks to promote through our summer youth camps, school programs, archery range, and other programs. Ethics, behavior, conservation, dressing game, safety, and other outdoor skills are all values the Preserve hopes to instill in the youth and adults participating in our programs. Hunting is an important tool for managing the elk, deer and bear populations that reside and migrate through the Preserve. Hunting may not be for everyone, but it is a culturally important pastime that allows many people to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the land.
To promote these beliefs, the Preserve offers hunting experiences to the community through direct sales and raffles. Hunting opportunities are frequently made available through our partners, such as Pope & Young Club, for their fundraising efforts. Cabin lodging is provided and Preserve staff and Board members will assist the hunter to ensure that he or she enjoys a truly outstanding hunting experience.
For more information, please contact us.
“It is our belief that hunting can foster a deep love and respect for the land, the wildlife it supports, and the outdoor experience. We believe that honest, ethical hunting for free-ranging animals kindles vitality in the individual hunter, deepens appreciation of wildlife and wildlands, and strengthens society as a whole.”
JON FOSSEL | PRESERVE FOUNDER
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
Species of Concern: The JCPF preserves biodiversity by conserving and enhancing habitat for more than 80 Species of Concern, through the Range Management Program. The United States Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service division has identified the grizzly bear, Canada lynx, greater sage-grouse, and whitebark pine as species who inhabit critical habitats, which are defined as:
“Specific areas (i) within the geographic area occupied by a species, at the time it is listed, on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to conserve the species and (II) that may require special management considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographic area occupied by the species at the time it is listed upon determination that such areas are essential to conserve the species.”