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Jefferson River Chapter LCTHF

PO Box 697
Pony, MT 59747
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Lost Tomahawk on the Jefferson River, Montana.

Lost Tomahawk
(Formely known as "Waterloo Grove")
Jefferson River Canoe Trail
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Paddling the Jefferson River Canoe Trail.

      We did it! Thanks to all who helped make our acquisition of Lost Tomahawk / Waterloo Grove a success. We raised $270,000 in grants and donations in 2017 to purchase this beautiful 30-acre parcel as a walk-in fishing access site and public floaters' camp. Scroll down the page to see the complete donor list!

      We closed on the property on July 31, 2017 and finished the fundraising shortly thereafter. We held a small party to celebrate the acquisition on October 14th, 2017.

      The property was originally named Waterloo Grove for fundraising purposes. In December, we met with the seventh grade Montana History class from Whitehall School to choose a Lewis and Clark name for the property. Students read the local journals of Lewis and Clark, suggested names, and voted in favor of "Lost Tomahawk." On August 2, 1805, Lewis and a small party of men were exploring ahead of the main expedition when they camped on the opposite side of the river from our newly acquired campsite. Lewis recorded in his journal, "Soon after passing the river this morning Sergt. Gass lost my tommahawk in the thick brush and we were unable to find it, I regret the loss of this usefull implement, however accedents will happen in the best families, and I consoled myself with the recollection that it was not the only one we had with us." The story was reported in the Whitehall Ledger.

      The next step in the process is too host a meeting to invite interested stakeholders to develop a management plan for the public campsite and fishing access site. We will then post signs officially opening the property to the public.

      Additional donations are needed to produce signs, update our Canoe Trail Maps, and rebuild our depleted account. Big or small, any contribution is greatly appreciated!

Lost Tomahawk Publiic Access Sign.       Public Access: Lost Tomahawk will serve as a convenient walk-in fishing access site and picnic area serving the Jefferson Valley. The property features a diverse mix of cottonwood, juniper, water birch, willow, and rich forage, plus lots of whitetail deer. At 30.53 acres, it will be the only substantial piece of riparian public land on the upper Jefferson where people can walk their dog, go bird watching, or hunt for morel mushrooms.

      Lost Tomahawk is a publicly-impacted private property by Parson's Bridge diversion dam. There is a parking lot and boat ramp located within the adjacent Waterloo Road right-of-way. The diversion dam directs irrigation water through the head gate and ditch crossing Lost Tomahawk. A public portage route allows floaters to cross the head gate, winding across private land back to the river.

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The Jefferson River Canoe Trail is a Chapter of
the 501(c) Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
Donate online or send checks to: JRCT - PO Box 697 - Pony, MT 59747

Lost Tomahawk.

Tent camping Jefferson River Canoe Trail.

      Public Campsite: We purchased Lost Tomahawk to serve as a public floater's camp for anyone following the Jefferson River Canoe Trail segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. It will serve local paddlers, Lewis and Clark enthusiasts, and anyone following the increasingly popular 3,900-mile source-to-sea route from Brower's Spring to the Gulf of Mexico. This is an especially appropriate location because floaters often have to unpack all their gear to portage around the diversion dam anyway.

      Montanans historically enjoyed the privilege of paddling our scenic rivers, camping in farm fields or groves of trees along the way. The rise of No Trespassing signs has largely ended this time-honored tradition, forcing paddlers to camp on gravel bars or seek scraps of public land to pitch a tent and stretch their legs. Public lands are especially scarce along the Jefferson River. Securing Lost Tomahawk for the public ensures that future generations can enjoy traditional freedoms while reducing public-private conflicts.

      Our group is working to fill in the gaps to provide convenient, quality campsites along the entire length of the Jefferson River Canoe Trail segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT). This local project will eventually connect with other water trails downstream to form a national blue trail along the Lewis and Clark route from here to St. Louis.

Bull moose along the Jefferson River Canoe Trail.

      Conservation: The Jefferson is a great river with beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, good floating opportunities, and an essential stake in our nation's history. Acquiring this property saves the parcel from development as a home site and thereby helps preserve the historic viewshed along this segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Let's protect the viewshed so floaters can continue to experience the Jefferson River much as Lewis and Clark found it 200 years ago.

      Restore Public Access: We recently lost vital public land on the upper Jefferson River due to a land exchange between the state and a private landowner. Acquiring Lost Tomahawk helps restore public land on the upper Jefferson.

      This was an unusual opportunity on the Jefferson River. Parcels of this size and quality are very rare along the Jefferson, and often much more expensive. Most parcels are much larger, or occupied by houses, or included in subdivisions with covenants that would be incompatible with public use. It is unlikely that another suitable parcel will be found in the foreseeable future.

      The Citizens Advisory Board for the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust approved our $195,000 grant application for the purchase of Lost Tomahawk. We started with $9,000 in the Canoe Trail bank account, and we secured an additional $66,000 in grants and donations through 2017 to complete the acquisition. Thank you for being part of this exciting project!

Lost Tomahawk Supporters

Supporters of Lost Tomahawk.

Initial Funding
MFWCT Grant: $195,000
Canoe Trail Account: $9,000
Balance Needed Through Fundraising: $66,000
Total Needed by July 31, 2017: $270,000

66K in 60 Days Donor List

Additional Grants: Thanks to the Barrick Gold Corporation (Golden Sunlight Mine) for a $10,000 grant, the Cinnabar Foundation for a $6,500 grant, the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited for $1,000, Northwestern Energy and 3 Rivers Commuications for $500 grants from each, plus $200 from the Public Land/Water Access Association towards Lost Tomahawk!

LCTHF Chapter-to-Chapter Support: Thanks also to our sister chapters, the California Chapter LCTHF for $1,000, the llini Chapter LCTHF for $500, the Badger State Chapter LCTHF for $250, and additional indvidual donations from chapter members included below.

Major Donors: Thanks to these individuals who have contributed significant donations of $500, $1,000, $2,000 and more, including Ken and Jenny Younger, Lee Bartlett, Philip Saccoccia, Doug and Ellie Reedy, Warren and Carol Lee Swager, David Miller, Tim Mulligan / The Corner Store, Beverly Lewis, Kenneth Walsh, Marc Elpel, Thomas J. Elpel, Stephen & Gale Gough, John Fisher, Mike Schmitt, and Jerry and Judy Aaker.

Individual Donor List: Thanks to all the many individuals and businesses who have also donated to this project via check, PayPal, and our Generosity crowdfunding campaign, including: Albert Lindler, April Barnes, Avon Family Cafe, Bob Gatten, Carol Delisi, Cathy Weber, Darlene Tussing, David and Janis Hanssen, Dick Ireland, Dorothy Starshine, Ed & Joyce Zacher, Gary Weiner, Grizzly Gulch Publications, Heather Kjerstad, Jan Elpel, Janet Marsh, Janeth Warg, Jeanne Elpel, Jenn Kelsh, Jerry Ladewig, Jim Ferguson, Jim Pappenfus, Jim Rosenberger, Joan Montagne, John & Eleanor Mest, Kay Kountz-O'Neil, Kin Sinay, Linnea Wang & Pete Husby, Margaret Gorski, Mike Penfold, Nick E., Paulette Hardy, Ralph Malatesta, Ren Beyer, Roberta Coppinger, Sally Schendel, Scott Coguill, Shannon Parsons, Steve Morehouse, The Braewold Fund, William Bucher, G. Alex Bernhardt, Jeff Lee, Carol Arnold, Jeff Blend, Robert Cline, Outside Media Group, Bob Locker, Deb Hanneman, Rob Fraser, High Peaks Federal Credit Union (Dillon), Ken Morrison, Steve Hample, Ann Schile, Brian Blicker, Mark Lusch, Janis Hansen, Brenda Volz, Mark Momberg, Cassandra Drew, Eric Scranton, Bruce Nelson, Lou Walters, Kevin Cox, James Mordarski, Janet Zimmerman, Mike England, Patricia Pasini, John Davis, Ed Buzbee, Julie Kallemeyn, Alan Elpel, Reuben Cochran, Kim Koenig, Lance & Sheila Krieg, John Harley, Tom Forwood, Mark and Cindy Nelezen, Steve & Renata Shore, Clayton Smith, Mary Margaret Davis, Brian England, Brian Smith, Bill Nichols, Carol Nohl, Norm Miller, Jerry, Moisan, Ann Goldthwait, Deborah Sjoberg, Am Plona, Heather Reedy, Padraic Stoy, Debbie Bishop, Nicholas Jaynes, Mike Barlow, Larry Campbell, Brad and Katy Teson, Hugh & Karen Zackheim, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Lynn and Doug Davis, Mori Costantin, Kent S. Whiting, Sam and Kathy Milodragovich, Orlo Ellison, James A. Bishop, Don Thomas, Brett Gustafson and Kathy Looney.

Jefferson River Chapter LCTHF
PO Box 697
Pony, MT 59747
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