Bordered by the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas and along the renowned Blackfoot River, Lincoln is known for its year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, quaint downtown shops, solitude, and of course, Skijorring! The Blackfoot Pathways Sculpture in the Wild brings artists from around the world to provide an incredible art experience for all ages.

Lincoln is the only unincorporated Rural Partner community, which comes with its own set of unique challenges and opportunities. Despite not having a local governing body, the community has come together to make real progress towards economic and community development goals. Envision Lincoln was created by a group of community members as a mechanism to look to the future and plan for the health and wellness of Lincoln.

In October 2018, the Rural Partners Team, including Lt. Governor Cooney and Main Street Montana-Rural Partners Chair, Lance Trebesch (CEO + Eventgroove), along with Martha Williams (MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Director), Elizabeth Mullins ( MT DNRC Southwestern Land Office), Sean Becker (Business Assistance Bureau Chief, Office of Tourism and Business Development, Montana Department of Commerce), and Elisa Fiaschetti (Rural Community Development Manager, Governor’s Office of Economic Development) met with stakeholders from Lincoln to discuss the community’s accomplishments and successes, as well as their challenges and roadblocks, and see how the state could assist.

Rural Partners Highlights

During the Rural Partners visit to Lincoln, priorities were discussed and the challenges and opportunities to reaching the priorities were identified and discussed. These included:

  • Lincoln in-town trail system
  • Downtown revitalization and beautification
    • The advantages and challenges of HWY 200
  • Outdoor Farmers market
  • Local Capacity

As a follow-up to the October visit, Rural Partners has continued to work with Lincoln to identify additional challenges and opportunities, make appropriate connections, provide resources, and identify potential next steps. One of Lincoln’s top priorities is to develop an in-town trail network and provide non-motorized connectivity throughout town. Rural Partners has connected Lincoln with the team at MSU’s Western Transportation Institute (WTI) to provide technical assistance to develop the trails. Rural Partners has continued to have conversations with the community about how to increase local capacity and move projects forward.