Between 1995 and 1998, about 1600 acres of open space on Mt. Jumbo were placed into public ownership to conserve critical winter range, preserve important elk travel corridors, provide habitat for a variety of other species, protect Missoula’s viewshed, and to provide outdoor recreation for citizens.
A driving factor for the purchase of the majority of Mt. Jumbo by the City of Missoula and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks was to protect important elk winter range and travel corridors. The forests along Mount Jumbo’s backbone trail are critical for the security and habitat of the approximately 75 elk that use Mount Jumbo as their winter range.
Parks and Recreation’s Conservation Lands Management Division manages the 188 acres of forest on City-owned portions of Mount Jumbo. Conservation Lands Manager Morgan Valliant and the Conservation Lands Advisory Committee, with the technical assistance of FWP and DNRC wildlife biologists and foresters, have completed the Mount Jumbo Forest Management Plan On Critical Elk Winter Range. The plan has been approved by the Missoula Parks Board and will be considered for adoption by the City Council later this month.
Forest management goals, as outlined by the plan, include:
#1: Increase forest resistance and resilience to disease, fire and climate change.
#2: Increase species diversity in areas where diversity is low.
#3: Maintain and Improve wildlife habitat.
#4: Promote public safety.
#5: Manage public recreation to minimize impacts on habitat.
#6: Remain cognizant of and mitigate negative visual aspects for forest management.
#7: Ensure forest management prescriptions do not negatively affect the Mt. Jumbo elk herd.