Bert Linder

Like Richard Manning (, I too am a lifelong fan of Missoula’s open spaces.

While I value the role Missoula’s mayors have played in maintaining support for our open spaces, I’m an even bigger fan of the city employees who spend their days managing our open space lands for Missoula’s residents now and centuries into the future.

In particular, I think of Morgan Valliant, who has managed Missoula’s open spaces since 2007, first as the city’s conservation lands manager and now as associate director of ecosystem services for Missoula Parks and Recreation.

Morgan not only brings a passion for the outdoors to his job, but also the knowledge he acquired while completing his master’s degree in botany. That knowledge has helped him establish scientific research projects to determine what has worked and what hasn’t in the attempts to manage weeds on the city’s large conservation reserves, such as Mount Jumbo.

So long as Missoula is served by employees such as Morgan Valliant, the city’s open spaces will be managed as well as funding and the increasing demands of public use permit.

Bert Linder served on Missoula’s Conservation Lands Advisory Committee (2011 to 2017) and on the Open Space Advisory Committee (2010 to 2018).