Multiple Use on Mount Jumbo in Missoula, Montana — Balancing Wildlife Resource Values, Public Recreational Opportunities and Land Management

Vickie Edwards, Morgan Valliant


Between 1996 and 1998, the City of Missoula, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks  (MFWP), and the USDA Forest Service acquired 1650 acres on Mount Jumbo in the northern Missoula Valley to protect winter range for elk (Cervus elaphus) and other wildlife, to preserve the viewshed and its associated habitats, and to provide public recreational access and opportunities. Multi-governmental management of the mountain has included establishing a public lands advisory committee, implementing a conservation lands management plan, establishing a bighorn sheep/domestic sheep interaction policy, and instituting a seasonal public closure and educational program to protect wintering ungulates. Over time, the need and political pressures to manage forested habitats on these lands in the wildland-urban interface have pushed land management and conservation efforts to the next level, especially on the City’s conservation lands. To ensure that additional forest management treatments do not negatively affect the Jumbo elk herd and other wildlife, the City of Missoula and MFWP personnel have increased elk survey and inventory efforts on the mountain and incorporated a citizen scientist-based program to not only gather important management data, but also to expand public involvement, awareness and education of the overall resource values of the area. This presentation will include discussions on the cooperative management strategies implemented to conserve the wildlife resources of Mount Jumbo, while balancing public recreational opportunities and forest and other habitat management prescriptions.

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