Habitat Protection

Each year the Last Chance Audubon Society grants funds to Helena area projects for habitat protection, enhancement or restoration. Funds for these community projects are raised through fund raising efforts including the LCAS Birdathon, November/December (Not a) Silent Auction, sale of birdseed and LCAS membership.

Upper Prickly Pear FAS

In the fall of 2014, FWP acquired a 36 acre parcel of land along Prickly Pear Creek. The parcel is a familiar birding site that has been previously been known by locals as Stansfield Lane. The land was donated to FWP by Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT) for the “purpose of establishing a fishing access site (FAS)”. FWP put together a Draft Environmental Assessmentand solicited comments on the proposal through the end of September. LCAS submitted comments to FWP asking to meet with FWP regarding the FAS development, and offered assistance with development of the site. On 12/15/2014 FWP issued a decision to proceed with the FAS as outlined in the Environmental Assessment. The decision notice can be found at the Fish, Wildlife & Parks website (fwp.mt.gov/)or by clicking on this link.


On Thursday, July 30, 2015, LCAS participated in the official dedication of the new fishing access. LCAS turned a number of heads with a table and display of bird skins and mounts from the Carroll College skin collection. The dedication included speakers from the many organizations that were responsible for development of the property. As an alternative to a celebratory cake, root beer floats were served in the warm July afternoon.

Other recent projects:

  • In the spring of 2017, a $500 grant was awarded to Shane Sater for his work with Prickly Pear Land Trust and the avian surveys being conducted on the Sevenmile Creek property.
  • Between 2010 and 2012 LCAS granted $4,000 to Kessler School to develop a native plant habitat on the school grounds for bird habitat development and educational purposes.
  • In 2009 a habitat grant of $1,000 was awarded to the Lewis & Clark County Water Quality Protection District for restoration of native shrubs and trees in riparian sites along Prickly Pear Creek in the Helena Valley.
  • In 2009, a $1,000 sponsorship was provided to assist with the release of a Trumpeter Swan to re-establish a Trumpeter Swan population in the Blackfoot Valley, Ovando, Montana.
  • A 2008, a $2,000 habitat grant was awarded to Montana State Parks for the restoration and replanting of trees at Spring Meadow Lake State Park near Helena after a 2007 wildfire burned many of the mature trees and substantial bird habitat in the park.

Each year LCAS accepts grant applications from local groups interested in promoting the protection or enhancement of habitat that has, or could have, significant value for birds and other wildlife. Since 1996 the chapter has offered grants for habitat projects throughout the local area.


To apply for a habitat grant, please submit the following:

  • a statement of work proposed for your project
  • an explanation of how the work will enhance avian habitat
  • a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the work
  • a proposed timeline
  • a detailed proposed budget.

The application should not exceed 3 pages. All applications will be reviewed by the LCAS Habitat Protection Committee. Applications should be sent to LCAS, Habitat Protection, P.O. Box 924, Helena, MT. 59624, no later than April 1st of each year. The committee’s decision will be announced by April 15th.