Highlighting our river with trails and parks: a goal Kolten Knatterud of Territorial Landworks would like to see in Billings

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When Kolten Knatterud became chairman of the Billings Chamber of Commerce Trails Committee in 2018, it was one of many endeavors Territorial Landworks has taken in supporting and promoting trails.

This year, Territorial Landworks became a corporate member of Billings TrailNet, and Kolten, an engineer and Branch Manager at the Billings office of Territorial Landowrks, joined the Billings TrailNet board of directors.

Territorial Landworks has been operating in Montana for 40 years, with Missoula being their corporate office. As an organization with deep Montana roots and employees who have a love of the outdoors, it is important to the company to support a work-life balance for its staff.

“The outside is extremely important for our employees and clients,” says Kolten. Many community projects the firm did were Community Transportation Enhancement Program trail projects while the program lasted until 2012. “The communities really appreciate those projects, whether people use the trails or not- trails benefit the entire community by making it more vibrant,” he says.

Kolten believes that one of the biggest problems trails face is that there is no dedicated local funding source for trail development. “The CTEP program was great for trails. Now, as a grant process with so many applications competing, it’s tough to get trails unless you tie them to road projects,” he notes.

He hopes the next legislative session will make an effort to generate dedicated funding. “With so many members of Billings TrailNet, it puts us in a good position to help promote that,” he says.

Kolten would like to see the Marathon Loop completed, because the continuous trail would take advantage of the rims and the river. “We don’t do a great job of highlighting our river,” Kolten observes. “Great Falls is a great example of highlighting a river with parks and trails. This is why the Clarks Crossing project is so important,” he continues.

Kolten is looking forward to seeing the development of the West End reservoir project. “The community will enjoy hundreds of acres of trail, pond and recreation.”

“It’s a great thing to highlight,” says Kolten. “It will attract people to our community when there is a great place to recreate.”