Lake County’s 1,654 square miles boast an incredible diversity of landforms and ecosystems. The county has an abundance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands and transitions from many broad valleys to the rugged peaks of the Mission and Swan Mountains. The county is situated on the south end of the Flathead Basin, which includes northwest Montana and stretches into southeast British Columbia. Flathead Lake is the centerpiece of Lake County and is the largest freshwater lake by surface area west of the Mississippi River in the lower 48 states. Polson, with a population of 4,488, is the largest city in this county of 30,273. The Flathead Indian Reservation largely encompasses Lake County. The Reservation is home to three tribes, the Bitterroot Salish, Upper Pend d’Orielle and the Kootenai and together they are known as the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).
Though Lake County is 50% forested, agriculture is an important industry. Primary agricultural products include small grains, forage, some seed potatoes, diversified vegetable production as well as cherry orchard and vineyard industries on Flathead Lake. The most common land use within the county is rangeland and pasture. NRCS offices, located in Ronan, Pablo and Plains, offer voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in natural resource conservation based on a focused approach using long range planning with local input.
Current Financial Assistance Opportunities for Lake County Landowners
- K-Canal Irrigation Improvement Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- A Focus on Soil Health - Lake and Sanders County Cover Crop Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- Aspen Regeneration on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Reservation TIP
- Rocky Point - White Swan Forest Resilience Project TIP
In addition to these local projects, producers may also apply for statewide programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, national Environmental Quality Incentives Program initiatives, and conservation easement programs. For more information on these and other programs, see State Programs and Initiatives on the NRCS Montana webpage.