Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Wetlands along the Bull River, Sanders County, Montana

Sanders County

Sanders County, located in mountainous northwestern Montana, has a total area of 2,690 square miles and is home to some of the wettest and driest areas of the state. The Clark Fork River, which is a tributary of the Columbia River, runs the length of Sanders County flowing from southeast to the northwest. The county has a wealth of public land with two National Forests, the Kootenai National Forest and the Lolo National Forest in addition to the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness and the National Bison Range. The Flathead Indian Reservation boundaries encompass 26% of the county, primarily on the eastern edges. Only 18% of the land in Sanders County is privately owned. Thompson Falls, with a population of 1,300, is the largest city in this county of 11,844.

The primary agricultural land use in Sanders County is pasture and range, followed by woodlands and cropland. Most of the agriculture takes place in the southern portion of the county. The northern end of the county has some cattle producers but is more generally forested. NRCS offices, located in Plains, and Pablo, 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 Sanders County Landowners​

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.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit

Additional Information