Madison Valley - Historic Marker
- Things to See, Historical Markers/Interpretive Sign
- General info
Location: On scenic view turnout just south of McAllister on Hwy. 287
Settlement of the Madison Valley followed on the heels of the Gold Rush to Alder Gulch in the mid 1860s. Homesteaders grazed their livestock in the lush meadows of the valley and surrounding mountains, raising beef and mutton to feed the miners.
Today, in addition to meat production, these ranches serve another important ecological rolemaintaining open space and a place for wildlife to prosper.
Thousands of elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, and other smaller animals live, eat, and migrate through the valley. While public lands of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest provide protected habitat in the mountains surrounding the valley, ranch lands of the valley bottom provide essential food, security, and freedom of movement for many animals, particularly in winter.
One of the greatest threats to wildlife is the loss of this critical habitat to human encroachment. As ranches are subdivided, the open space and abundant food supply these area ranches provide are lost.
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