Missoula County, Montana has lost a lot of fertile ground to residential sprawl over the past several decades. Between 1986 and 2008, the County lost 29,000 acres of working farmland and ranchlands -- an average of 3 football fields every single day. Since 2008, CFAC members have commented on 28 proposals to subdivide farmland. This map shows the larger growth pattern of these recent subdivisions -- spreading houses across fertile fields and pastures -- as well as the pertinent details of each subdivision and the decisions of our local government.
You can explore each subdivision by clicking on the placemarker for a description of the development proposal and its potential impacts to agriculture. A more detailed public letter is available at the bottom of each description for every subdivision CFAC has commented on. We will continue to maintain this map, so the public can see our comments and upcoming subdivisions' potential impacts to agriculture.
View Farmland & Subdivisions in Missoula County in a larger map
The red placemarkers show subdivisions where CFAC recommended denial, based on the unmitigated impacts to agriculture. The yellow placemarkers show subdivisions where CFAC offered a word of caution about the subdivision's impacts on the future of agriculture in Missoula County -- be it the permanent loss of farmland or unnecessary strain on nearby farms and ranches. For these subdivisions, CFAC has often recommended "conditions of approval" to improve the final development before the elected body approves it. Our recommended conditions of approval have permanently protected 250 acres of farmland. Lastly, the blue placemarkers show subdivisions where CFAC suggested that the potential impacts to agriculture were not significant, even though the subdivision would occupy agricultural land. Often, this is because previous subdivisions had already compromised the productive potential of the land to the point that it was unlikely to ever support a working farm or ranch again.
Each subdivision has it's own unique story. We hope you enjoy exploring the details, while also noticing the larger growth pattern to convert the agricultural landscape to houses, lawns, and driveways. This pattern threatens Missoula County's legacy of working farms and ranches, not to mention our community's food security. That's why CFAC has recommended a package of land use policies to comprehensively conserve agricultural land in Missoula County.