The City of Missoula, County of Missoula, Five Valleys Land Trust, Mountain Bike Missoula (MTB), Izzy Dog LLC and other community partners have formed a steering group for the project.
They have collectively developed a set of guiding principles that any project decision will need to adhere to. There are 20 in all, including a heavy-use, all-season, all-access outdoor public education and recreation area.
Also included are programming possibilities, trails built specifically for mountain biking and hiking, adaptability for events and respect for the heritage of the region.
Marshall Mountain has been a property that the community of Missoula has enjoyed for years and many longtime residents of the valley have fond memories of it.
Following a public outcry over a potential private interest taking possession of the land, the Town of Missoula was granted an 18 to 24 month lease for Marshall Mountain with the intention of eventually purchasing the area.
City officials have said they want to fund the project through public and private partnerships. Federal money, like grants, could also be a potential funding source, as could partial funding for the 2018 City / County Open Space Bond, Valliant said.
Missoula spending taxpayer money on the old ski resort has become a topic of discussion, especially during municipal and municipal elections. One of the questions raised was how a public entity will successfully manage something where private enterprise has failed in the past.