The Teller Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife sanctuary that exists today because of the foresight of two conservation legends. Otto “Mose” Teller and Phil Tawney joined forces in the early 1980’s to consolidate and place 1,200 acres of land into conservation easements in an effort to prevent further fragmentation of habitat in the Bitterroot Valley. Because of their concern and efforts, they managed to combine 18 smaller properties near Corvallis, Montana into what is now a pristine riparian habitat that runs for four miles along the beautiful Bitterroot River.
Of the 1,200 acres of land, roughly 40 are open to the public. This area, referred to as the Teller Trail, is made up of diverse habitats, including emergent and open water wetlands, streams, spring creeks, irrigation ditches, and agricultural fields. As visitors saunter through this special sanctuary, they are bound to encounter some of the animals, including nearly 150 different species of birds, which call the Teller Wildlife Refuge home.
Teller visitors are also allowed to roam an approximate mile long trail loop on a relaxing hike, to fish, or to do some bird watching. In addition to incomparable outdoor recreation, Otto Teller also remodeled some of the buildings originally in existence on the land to serve as guest homes and meeting spaces. Many of these spaces can now be utilized as vacation rentals and for private events.
A small staff, along with a dedicated volunteer Board of Trustees, manages the refuge and strives to maintain Teller’s mission “to inspire, educate, and demonstrate conservation in action.” They’re able to accomplish their goals and serve as a conservation model for others due to the support of a variety of sources locally, regionally, and nationally. If you’re interested in learning more about visiting, staying overnight at, or supporting Teller, you can learn all about the wildlife refuge on their website: www.tellerwildlife.org