Fort Missoula Birding Facts

Historic Fort Missoula Coalition

“Preserving our history, our nature, our Fort”
Our coalition members include 30 local, national and international organizations.

Check back for future updates as the developer will likely modify and resubmit their proposal.

The Proposal that we are in opposition to: rezone a portion of our Fort Missoula to commercial and residential, demolish one historic structure, claim to rehabilitate the Old Post Hospital, and build 16 multi-story residential homes and two commercial buildings along the Bitterroot River on the Fort’s historic grounds.

Read the full Historic Preservation Permit application that the developer submitted to the City of Missoula here.

On May 3, 2023, the Historic Preservation Commission voted to deny the historic preservation permit for the Fort Missoula Commons project. The developer has filed an appeal, visit Fort Missoula Commons Historic Preservation Appeal for information.

Public comments can be submitted to or by mail to City Clerk, 435 Ryman, Missoula, MT 59802.

Contact the Missoula City Council at or 406-552-6012.

You can also contact your City Council Ward members directly here:

Contact the Coalition:

Dense residential and commercial development is not needed to preserve the Old Post Hospital. Historic grants, historic tax credits, community and organizational support can be utilized for stabilization and preservation. The existing Fort Missoula public and private preservation agencies have successfully accomplished a wide variety of building preservation projects for nearly half a century. This unique area and its history can and should be preserved for future generations.

Fort Missoula provides an opportunity for citizens of all ages to visit and enjoy. The natural values develop a sense of wonder, understanding and stewardship. The convenient location of Fort Missoula becomes increasingly important to meet the open space needs of Missoula’s expanding population. Visitors can gain a sense of place and well-being and an understanding of the important role that Fort Missoula has played in the history of Montana and the United States of America.

“With (this proposal) comes offices, a restaurant, and 15 high income townhouses…suddenly that quiet green campus is gone. Do you want this?”

– Victor Machart

“Why on Earth would the city/county of Missoula allow such a wonderful historic property that is a treasure for the community to become another field of ugly buildings?”

-Jan Jarvie

“The Fort is our shining gem that makes us what we are. Development is not necessarily the best use for this property.”

– John Langstaff

“Bird habitat on the Bitterroot River will be decimated..this development should never have been conceptualized for Fort Missoula, let alone get this far in the process.”

– Susan Cuff

From Buckhouse Bridge to Maclay Flat, the Bitterroot River corridor supports a unique array of riparian and wetland wildlife. The riverbank is one of the most valuable, bird-rich locations in the Missoula Valley that provides essential habitat for significant number of migrant and breeding bird species. The Clark Fork-Grass Valley Important Bird Area (IBA) encompasses this corridor. This IBA is formally recognized as a cornerstone in the Missoula Urban Area Open Space Plan.

Residential development now proposed for Fort Missoula will irrevocably degrade the sensitive habitats along the river, which make up some of the most ecologically important areas under our community’s care. We believe that this entire three mile reach of river corridor should be kept in its natural state for inclusion in a Fort Missoula Natural Area. This river corridor is a gift to the City of Missoula, and a treasure needing protection for all citizens to enjoy and in future generations.

Riparian Under Threat
Riparian Under Threat

This development would require a rezone of the current Fort zoning which protects the buildings, historic landscape, and open space. The residential development would reduce an area with approximately 90% open space down to 40%. This unwarranted for-profit redesign of Fort Missoula would radically alter the historic landscape and remove open space, eliminating historic green space for townhomes and private parking.

Post Hospital at Fort Missoula
Post Hospital at Fort Missoula

This overbuild ill serves the heritage of the 1200 Italian and 1000 Japanese men interned at Fort Missoula during World War II. The average age of the Japanese internee was 60. In the area of the proposed townhomes these elderly Japanese men gathered stones along the riverbank to polish and use in artworks. Fort Missoula is the most intact wartime incarceration camp in the United States and is recognized as an International Site of Conscience.

Old Post Hospital History
Post Hospital History
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