Member for
9 months, 4 weeks
Time zone
Europe: London

Grizzly bears are sometimes spotted in meadows not far from the golf course.A consortium of major corporations, including Chrysler Realty, Northwest Airlines, and Burlington Northern Railroad, purchased private land homesteaded in the late 1800s or granted to the railroad as part of its land grant.Then it traded sections of railroad land grants in other parts of the Gallatin National Forest for federal land within the consortium’s planned development.Forest Service, making its management easier.Fledgling environmental groups opposed the development on the grounds that it was being built in a pristine ecosystem sandwiched between a national park and a wilderness area.They were concerned about air and water quality, wildlife habitat, scenery, and congestion.It is reasonable to assume that, had these environmental groups had the clout of their counterparts who ten years later stopped a similar resort closer to Yellowstone’s boundary, they would have stopped Big Sky, too.The covenants allowed it to capitalize on the amenities by ensuring that future development at Big Sky would blend with the area’s natural surroundings long after the property had been transferred to others.Because potential buyers knew that all other landowners had to adhere to rules protecting the area’s natural surroundings, they were willing to pay a premium for the land.Even though ownership of the resort has changed hands since Huntley’s initial dream began to take shape, development has continued, more people frequent the area, wildlife numbers continue to increase, air and water quality has not deteriorated, and property values have risen.All of this occurred because the original developers understood how to protect and market Big Sky’s environment.Certainly Chet Huntley cared about the environment of his native state, but it was more than concern that motivated the well financed consortium.Those entrepreneurs recognized the growing demand for amenities and profited by preserving them.The protection and development at Big Sky has created positive spillovers for nearby property owners.Certainly, the initial corporation would have liked to capture all of these positive spillovers by owning more property, but both capital and vision always have limits.As the market has unfolded, however, other entrepreneurs are filling a niche.Judging from its natural features, he may not be too far off.Moonlight Basin Ranch encompasses most of the Jack Creek drainage in the Gallatin Range.The private land in Jack Creek is surrounded by the rugged, roadless Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area where elk, grizzly bears, mountain goats, mountain sheep, and moose roam, and maybe some day wolves will howl.The new owners would not divulge how much they paid for the property, but before Plum Creek completed the sale, Oregon businessman Tim Blixseth claimed he was willing to buy it for $6.5 million.They studied reports from former state wildlife biologist John Cada, fishery biologist Joe Urbani, forester Gary Peck, and hydrologists Tom and Trina Kallenbach.Three subdivisions, one of which is linked to the planned ski area and commercial village, are located at the head of Jack Creek.The remaining portion of the area, 11,000 acres or nearly half of Jack Creek, will be placed in conservation easements to protect the watershed and wildlife habitat.Prior to the project, conservationists had ongoing concerns that this secluded area would be inundated with human traffic.Ennis business owners once lobbied for government funds to turn the narrow, dirt logging road running through the drainage into a paved public thoroughfare linking Ennis to the booming Big Sky resort.This disturbed environmentalists, who feared major disruption of elk migration routes and grizzly bear habitat.Under current plans, the privately financed road will remain closed to the public.Only owners of lots in the subdivisions will be allowed to use it.Electronic gatehouses at both ends of the road will control entry.To date, property sales have gone very well.Within eighteen months, all lots were sold.After fourteen months, four were sold.


Level progress


No solved problems yet.



No achievements yet.