Trails + Open Space = Healthy Living

Times may be tough economically, but in other respects Bozeman is doing just fine. That’s what Stephen Johnson, executive director of the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT), has to say about the future of open space and area trails around the Bozone. According to Johnson, GVLT closed on a record nine new conservation easements in 2009, bringing their total protected area to a whopping 56 square miles. In addition, their renowned “Main Street to the Mountains” trail network now stretches over 60 miles and is growing constantly with the help of private-land donations. Johnson contends that’s one reason Gallatin County was recently named the healthiest county in Montana by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute. Bozeman’s “scenery tax” may be about as high as it’s ever been, but as the saying goes, at least we’ve got our health.