Last updated: 3/16/2014
Condon, Montana
Street Address
MT Highway 83 Mile Marker 42.5
Condon, MT 59826
Mailing Address
U.S. Forest Service Condon Work Center
6887 MT Highway 83
Condon, MT 59826
phone: 406-754-3137
fax: 406-754-2965
Monday - Friday9 AM - 4:30 PM
Gift Shop
Maria Mantas, Executive Director
Anne Dahl, Director's Assistant

Swan Ecosystem Center (SEC) is a nonprofit community group in the Swan Valley of northwestern Montana. People with diverse perspectives learn about the watershed and are involved in land management on public and private land. SEC helps people work together to sustain the valley's natural resources and rural and wild characteristics.

SEC has an office and Visitor Center in the U.S. Forest Service Condon Work Center, providing information to the public about trails, campsites and wildlife. SEC provides funds and volunteers to keep backcountry trail stewards at work in the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Range. Water quality monitoring and restoration in the Swan Valley is funded in part by grants that SEC receives. To involve a broad segment of the community in forest stewardship, SEC organizes field trips during the early stages of national forest timber sale development. SEC and the U.S. Forest Service cooperatively oversee a 120-acre stewardship site near the U.S. Forest Service Condon Work Center. Short trails provide access to two demonstration forests on this site

The Elk Creek Conservation Area is a square-mile parcel of land at the confluence of Elk Creek and the Swan River, owned by Swan Ecosystem Center (SEC) and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). The land was acquired in 2006 from Plum Creek Timber Company to protect vital fish and wildlife habitat, forest resources and public access. Elk Creek is one of the most important bull trout streams in Montana. SEC has been working to ensure the entire stream is protected.


Our Vision

The Swan Valley is rural and wild. It is integral to the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, where people and a rich diversity of native plants and animals flourish. People learn from the ecosystem and work to promote its vitality, while maintaining a rural way of life.

Swan Ecosystem Center serves the public on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service, selling maps and firewood permits and providing detailed information about area recreation. We are located at mile marker 42.5 on Highway 83. If you have questions, give us a call or stop in for a visit.

Educational Programs

The Education Program is an important feature of SEC's mission. Education is highlighted in SEC's Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives. Goal A is to create and sustain a learning center that promotes understanding of the land and relationships between people and the land in the Swan Valley. Objective 1 is to establish an outreach program to help people of all ages learn about ecosystem processes, sustainable land management and wildfire protection.

What activities, programs and projects can we pursue to fill this quest to further a sense of stewardship for the Swan Valley? Well, just about anything outdoors or about the outdoors. Program categories we offer include: adult/family informational programs and workshops, Adventure Camp, Kids Community Club, Barber Creek Pit, SEC Sponsored Hikes, Students-on-the-Land, camps and classes, monitoring and restoration projects, citizenship and stewardship components, forest science activities, school field trips regarding local ecology and teacher workshops.


Resource Center

Swan Ecosystem Center offers an extensive resource center for public use. Resources include tapes, transcripts and photos from the Oral History Project, homestead documents, maps, books and hundreds of scientific reports relevant to the Upper Swan Valley. Contact us so that we may assist you in finding the cataloged information relevant to your topic.


Appointment required: No

  • Our Swan Ecosystem Center Newsletter is published quarterly.
  • Swan Valley Bear News offers tips for preventing human and bear conflicts and providing up-to-date information about bear research and local bears.
  • Services

    Gift Shop

    Swan Ecosystem Center has a small gift shop in our Visitor Center that includes books for all ages about local and regional history, wildlife and other natural resource topics. Also available for purchase are the Swan Valley Landscape Assessment and Montana: Voices of the Swan, a compilation of early Swan Valley residents' oral histories. Please visit our website and see our inventory of books, bear spray, shirts, tote bags, pottery, greeting cards and additional locally made goods!

    Gift Shop

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