Jocko Valley Trails (2011)

Client Organization: 
Jocko Valley Trails Committee
Project Location : 
Arlee, MT
Secondary Client Organization: 
Natural Resource Department of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (unconfirmed)
Summary of Project Idea: 

This project assisted community members and tribal employees in the planning and conceptual design of a non-motorized trails system in the Jocko Valley, on the Montana Flathead Reservation. Since 2009, the master's project team worked closely with community groups and the tribal government, through extensive meetings and public outreach, to create trail design recommendations guided by local community feedback. Specifically, the master's project group developed a series of tailored trail feature recommendations, educational/interpretation options and trail design alternatives for the Jocko Valley Community. On a broader scale, the team also developed a detailed report on the current status of trail systems on Native American reservations throughout the United States. The major findings from the team's research were then combined with information gathered from comprehensive personal interviews with tribal natural resource managers to create a resource packet for tribes considering trail development on their reservation. Unlike other trail development resources, the master's project recommendations are sensitive to the unique challenges and benefits trail systems may produce for reservation communities.

Skills/Expertise Needed: 

This project team will provide strategic planning and a case study analysis of similar trails projects for the Jocko Valley Trails Committee and employees of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. Additional project opportunities include ownership mapping, creating a natural features inventory, as well as the trail design itself. Project team members will work with tribal cultural and fisheries experts to interpret restoration work and historically important areas within the valley. Lastly, there is the need for a grassroots marketing strategy to help present project ideas to the diverse community of the Jocko Valley.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Environmental Policy and Planning
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Landscape Architecture
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

Team members interested in conservation related careers in the West will gain experience planning environmentally sensitive projects for the benefit of underserved communities. This is a wonderful opportunity for students interested in using landscape design to promote environmental education. There is also the prospect for conducting original research on the use of conservation easements to allow public access on private land. And, It is a chance to learn about conservation related careers that are available through tribal governments.

Funding Sources: 

Potential grant from the Center for Disease Control

In-kind donations from the Jocko Valley Trails Committee members.

Identify expected products/deliverables: 
  • Reports to assist in the planning of the location and extent of this trails system
  • Case studies of similar trails projects
  • GIS maps to assist in trail design and planning
  • Conceptual design drawings and plans
  • Construction drawings for limited sections of the trail
  • Planning and presentation tools for public meetings
State or Country: 
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Bob Grese
Contact Phone: 
Contact e-mail: 
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Meredith Bohdan, MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Robin Burke, MLA
  • Nick Deyo, MLA
  • Ann Kelley, MS Behavior, Education and Communication/Conservation Biology
  • Brittney Van Der Werff, MS Behavior, Education and Communication
Project Status: 
Past Project