Park County, with an area of 1,800,472 acres and a population of 16,000, ranges in elevation from a low of approximately 4195 feet where the Yellowstone River leaves the county to 12,799 feet at Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana. Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park lie along the southern border of this county located in southcentral Montana. Incorporated cities are Livingston, the county seat, and Clyde Park. The primary river system in Park County is the Yellowstone River with the Shields River Watershed being the dominant drainage from the northern part of the county.
Park County was officially created by the Montana Territorial Legislature in 1887. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Bozeman Trail, fur trapping, conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers, early coal mining and railroad development are all part of area history. Agriculture and tourism/recreation are currently the leading economic drivers in Park County.
More than half the county is public land (47.5% US Forest Service) and much of that is forested. Agriculture in Park County is also limited by its short growing season and reduced growing degree days. Wheat and barley are mostly grown in the Shields Valley, while Paradise Valley is predominantly a beef cattle/hay production model. The NRCS office, located in Livingston, offers 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 Park County Landowners
- Rooting for Soil Health Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- National Water Quality Initiative - Shields River
- Upper Yellowstone Collaborative Noxious Weed Treatment Targeted Implementation Plan (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.