Recently an organization called Montana Land Reliance licensed one of my popular rural Montana stock photos for use in their 2018 annual report. It was a photo of a herd of cattle in a green pasture near Cleveland, Montana. It is one of my favorite photos.
If you are unfamiliar with Montana Land Reliance (MLR), they are a nonprofit land trust established to acquire and manage conservation easements on rural land in Montana. With headquarters in Helena, Montana, the organization has nearly 900 easements on more than 1 million acres of private land across the state of Montana. It is the largest land trust in the State of Montana, the largest state-based land trust in the United States, and is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.
Some farmers and ranchers oppose land trusts for a variety of reasons. One of the big reasons is that they can tend to take farmland and grazing land out of production. In doing so the cost of doing business for Montana's farmers and ranchers can increase. The MLR is different, however, because they try to maintain the natural aspect of Montana's beautiful landscapes and actually keep farmland and ranch land in production, as opposed to removing it. And that's a cause most farmers, ranchers, and yes, even Montana photographers can get behind.
I'm happy to see my rural Montana photography in their annual report and I'm happy to support their cause.