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Our History

Our Guiding Document

The Thompson Chain of Lakes Neighborhood Plan

and Our Neighborhood Plan Land Use Designation Maps

Signed April 7th, 2010, by the Lincoln County Commissioners


The underlying premise of the Thompson Chain of Lakes Neighborhood Plan is to protect property rights and values by offering assurance that the types, locations, and density of future uses are consistent with the inherent quality and values of the Thompson Chain of Lakes. This plan is intended to guide Lincoln County land use decisions for the area and is a foundation for future land use regulations.


The Chain of Lakes Neighborhood Plan, the only one in Lincoln County, was incorporated into the Lincoln County Growth Policy and was signed by all 3 Lincoln County Commissioners in 2010. According to Montana State Law, a Neighborhood Plan is a land use plan that must be substantially considered as County Commissioners evaluate development proposals within its boundaries.


The boundary of the Thompson Chain of Lakes Neighborhood Plan is from Loon Lake to Lower Thompson Lake for a total of 65,570 acres. It presents a future vision on how the many stakeholders who agreed that this area should grow and develop. It identifies prohibited and permitted uses using detailed maps and narrative descriptions.

The Thompson Chain of Lakes Stewardship Coalition is a nonpolitical neighborhood organization founded as a nonprofit in 2022. Our mission is to protect and conserve the land and clean water of The Thompson Chain of Lakes for current and future generations. We hold the Lincoln County Commissioners and Planners accountable to the vision and land use prescriptions clearly identified in the Thompson Chain of Lakes Neighborhood Plan.

Many of our members were born and raised in this area and have cherished the clean abundant water of the 18 lakes in the Thompson Chain of Lakes and the primitive and pristine surrounding land for generations of families. Some are descendants of those who first logged the trees on this land, bulldozed the back roads, and built the first lake cabins on the lakes. Many still get their drinking water from the lakes. We are pleased to welcome the many new neighbors to the area who share our values of place and caring for this area for future generations. Our newest neighbors chose this special place to live, work, recreate and perhaps even retire because of the very values we are trying to preserve. Together, as neighbors, recreationists, property owners, nature lovers, fishers, and hunters we are determined to conserve and protect this area we all cherish.


We came together to contribute to the public debate on new development in the Thompson Chain of Lakes. We are concerned about the cumulative effects of over development. We are not opposed to all development. We believe in thoughtful, wise, and deliberate land use planning and want to contribute to that in a meaningful way. As we have seen from counties throughout Montana, land use conflicts get worse as population density grows. Montana has been discovered and if we are going to keep what we love about this area – without letting it get loved to death, we must plan now for the future.


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