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Valley View Ranch

$2,500,000 Polson, MT 2,338± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The Valley View Ranch consists of 2,338± acres located in Lake County, Montana, in the northern Mission Valley just south of Flathead Lake. With an estimated 500-acres of irrigated land, the property is estimated to support around 300 animal units on a seasonal basis. At the heart of the ranch are the Valley View Hills. With its 3,766-foot highpoint located within the ranch’s boundaries, the property is visible from many miles away and offers panoramic views of the Mission Mountains and Flathead Lake beyond. The upper slopes of these hills holds a unique Palouse grassland that is protected by a conservation easement, but allows agricultural use. The property also features two homes.  A nice three-bedroom, two-bath home was built around 2001, while the ranch’s older home provides an excellent choice for overflow housing. A variety of outbuildings, shipping corrals and other general ranch amenities are concentrated in and around the two homes. Irrigation water is provided by the Flathead Irrigation District.

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Just the Facts

  • Located in Valley View Hills west of Pablo
  • 2,338± acres of which approximately 500 are irrigated
  • Contains the summit of the Valley View range with panoramicviews of Mission Mountains and Flathead Lake
  • Operates approximately 300 pair on a seasonal basis
  • Newer home built in 2000 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms
  • Older home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms
  • Multiple outbuildings, corrals and other general ranch improvements
  • Conservation easement in place on majority of ranch with latitude for additional homes/agricultural improvements

General Description

The ranch is reached directly from the south end of Apple Road in the north central portion of the Mission Valley. At the southern terminus of Apple Road, one enters the ranch with the old ranch headquarters located directly ahead and a variety of outbuildings and corrals spread to the east and west. Tall shade trees loom over the original home and provide dense shade in summer and an established, verdant feel to the location. Across the corrals and beyond several outbuildings is the ranch’s second home, built in 2000.The majority of the ranch stretches above and to the south of the building compound entirely encompassing the Valley View Hills that rise approximately 800 feet from the valley floor and provide one of the more distinctive topographical features in the otherwise broad, flat Mission Valley. Native range and a globally unique Palouse grassland populate the upper levels of the ranch and are protected through a conservation easement that allows largely unrestricted agricultural use, but limits any subdivision or direct destruction of the grassland. Perimeter roads provide access to all but the most remote corners of the property, weather permitting. Irrigation is all flood-based and covers around 500 acres. Significant opportunity exists for a new owner to improve production through more intensive management practices, including adding wheel lines and possibly a pivot or two, particularly on the north end of the ranch. Additional improvements can be made by developing ground-water resources for stock use and increasing the effective utilization of the grass resource. 

Broker's Comments

The Valley View Ranch is a quality production ranch with considerable value-added proposition for a new owner. Good water resources and high ratio of irrigated to non-irrigated ground create an excellent potential for creating an entry-level balanced operation for a family or investor putting together their first ranch or longtime operators looking to diversify their operation. Excellent proximity to Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park combine to offer accessible recreational pursuits, while the open nature of the country lends itself wonderfully to equestrian pursuits. 

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Location

The Valley View Ranch is located in Lake County in the heart of the Mission Valley approximately 70 miles northwest of Missoula via Highway 93. Delta, United, Alaska and Allegiant airlines serve the Missoula airport from a variety of different hubs with numerous arrivals and departures every day. Delta and United provide service to Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Denver. Horizon Airlines, an Alaska Airlines subsidiary, flies direct to Portland and Seattle. Allegiant connects directly to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oakland and Los Angeles on a seasonal basis. Frontier Airlines also provides service to Denver.

Locale

The Valley View Ranch is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Mission Valley, where one can have the quintessential Montana western experience. This is an area rich in natural resources and cultural heritage, agriculture and cattle ranching. One of the more notable resources is Flathead Lake, the largest naturally formed freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, clearly visible from the upper elevations of the Valley View Hills, just a few short miles away. Renowned for its fishing and other water-based recreational pursuits, Flathead Lake draws visitors and locals alike from a wide surrounding area. Other significant destinations in the neighborhood include the National Bison Range and the Ninepipes National Wildlife Refuge. Other attractions are the historic mission at St. Ignatius, the Jocko River, known locally for its outstanding fly fishing, the Ninepipes Reservoir, and the Flathead River with its accessible floating and excellent fishing. The Flathead Reservation’s Native American Indian (Salish and Kootenai tribes) heritage runs deep and can be enjoyed by all at various times of the year, including the local summer powwows. The summer months also host a variety of rodeo events. 

Climate

Elevation range: 2,937 feet to 3,746 feet above sea levelAnnual average precipitation: 15 inchesAverage annual snowfall: 40 inchesGrowing season: 125 days

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Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 2,338±

Total Acres: 2,338±

* All acreages are approximations.

Additional Information

Conservation EasementApproximately 1,851 acres of the ranch’s total of 2,338± acres is under a conservation easement with the Montana Land Reliance, leaving approximately 487 acres outside of the easement. The primary purpose of this easement is to insure the continued existence of the high-quality Palouse grassland that exists on the ranch. Permitted uses under this conservation easement include the following:Agricultural usesThe construction of three additional homesThe replacement and maintenance of any existing homes or structuresGeneral recreational usesOperation of a bed-and-breakfast or similar guest facilitiesCopies of the full document that lists all permitted and prohibited uses are available upon request. 

Improvements

The Valley View Ranch contains two homes and a variety of outbuildings and structures of general ranch utility, including corrals, sorting pens, grain bins, a cold-frame greenhouse and miscellaneous equipment storage sheds. Both homes were built with the needs of working families in mind. The older home is in need of some basic repairs, while the newer home is in good condition and ready for immediate move-in. Improvements include the following:Four-bed/two-bath home built in 1947Three-bed/two-bath home built in 1997One-bed/one-bath guest cabin, construction time unknownTwo 2,500-bushel grain binsBarnCorralsMiscellaneous equipment and supply storage

Water Rights

The ranch is irrigated with shares from the Flathead Irrigation District via the Pablo Reservoir. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes took over management of the irrigation district a few years ago as a part of the Water Compact negotiation. Delivery of water has been uninterrupted during the history of the current ownership. 

Taxes

Taxes are approximately $32,332 based upon previous years. This figure includes all charges for water from the Flathead Irrigation District. 

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Recreational Considerations

The Valley View Ranch is an excellent location for a wide variety of recreational pursuits including horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. With over 2,300 contiguous acres, there is plenty of room to roam for the person interested in covering some ground. Nearby outdoor resources provide endless fishing and hunting opportunities, while the closest wilderness area, the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness, is administered by the Salish Kootenai Confederated Tribes and is open to all users with a tribal-issued permit. Glacier National Park is located approximately 90 minutes to the northeast. In addition to the park, its bordering flanks hold hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest, federally administered wilderness and other public lands. The Flathead River also flows within a few miles of the ranch, providing whitewater enthusiasts and fisherman endless challenges. Whether your interest is backcountry equestrian use, four wheeling, hunting or fishing, the vast public expanses of western Montana can provide a lifetime of adventure.

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General Operations

Over the past three-plus decades of ownership, the ranch has been managed for cattle production. During the bulk of that time the owners pursued Holistic Resource Management on the property, developing up to 40 individual pastures and practicing an intensive rest-rotation regime that reduced management costs and more closely mimicked the historic passage of large herds of free-ranging herbivores. More recently many of those pastures have been combined. The property is fully perimeter fenced. Current grazing practices are administered under a lease agreement and host around 250 cow/calf pairs on a seasonal basis, usually from the middle of May until the middle of November. Shipping of calves has historically occurred in mid-October. Semi-trailer cattle hauling rigs can easily pull directly into the loading chutes.

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