A Kila resident has transformed her home into a protected tree forest. Valerie Beebe originally purchased the house near Smith Lake in 2001 on about 3 acres of land. A few years after, she snapped up another 25 acres that borders the Smith Lake Waterfowl Production area. That land soon became known as Birdsong Tree Farm.
After Beebe developed a forest stewardship plan, she became certified by the American Tree Farm Association. In 2011, a conservation easement was placed on the farm by the Flathead Land Trust. Beebe said the easement protects Birdsong Tree Farm in perpetuity for generations to come, as no other structures or roads can be built on the property.
"I just feel that I had a responsibility to protect it because it is a wildlife corridor," said Beebe. "I am enjoying my property so much more knowing that it will stay in this preserved state and I didn't realize how much I was worried before I put the easement on."
For more on conservation easements and Birdsong Tree Farm, visit their Facebook page.