Peak named in honor of late conservationist who worked to protect Haskill Basin

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  • The view from atop the mountain proposed to be named Alex Diekmann Peak looking west into the Madison River Valley, south of Ennis. (Photo courtesy John Muhlfeld)

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    Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld, left, with the late Alex Diekmann. (Pilot file photo)

  • The view from atop the mountain proposed to be named Alex Diekmann Peak looking west into the Madison River Valley, south of Ennis. (Photo courtesy John Muhlfeld)

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    Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld, left, with the late Alex Diekmann. (Pilot file photo)

A 9,765-foot peak will be named in honor of the late Montana conservationist Alex Diekmann.

President Trump last week signed a bill naming the mountain peak for Diekmann, who died of cancer two years ago and is credited with helping to protect more than 50 distinct areas in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, securing for the future over 100,000 acres of iconic mountains and valleys, rivers and creeks, ranches and farms, and historic sites and open spaces.

The peak is in the Madison Range in southwestern Montana. Diekmann was a senior project manager with the Trust for Public Lands.

Locally, he was instrumental in helping conserve about 23,000 acres of forested lands around Whitefish including the Haskill Basin conservation easement.

The Haskill Basin project was one of Diekmann’s final conservation projects.

Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld, who worked with Diekman to complete the deal, noted his steadfast commitment to closing it, even in his last days.

“His passion for conservation was relentless but more importantly, Alex was an incredible friend, father, brother and husband, and we will forever be reminded of his legacy when we go out and experience the lands in northwest Montana that Alex helped protect in perpetuity,” Muhlfeld said in a statement.

The peak overlooks the Madison River Valley, one of the many areas in the Northern Rockies where Diekmann led successful efforts to conserve land and water.

His wife, Lisa Diekmann, expressed her pride in her late husband’s work.

“This is a great way to start the new year,” she said in a prepared release. “I hope that the efforts of Senators Tester and Daines, Congressman Gianforte, and Alex’s friends and colleagues who have worked tirelessly to designate this peak in memory of Alex and his commitment to conservation and collaboration will be an inspiration for others.”

The bill was sponsored by Congressman Greg Gianforte and U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester. The bill says Diekmann “leaves a lasting legacy across Montana and the Northern Rockies that will benefit all people of the United States in our time and in the generations to follow.”

Diekmann’s long-time colleague at The Trust for Public Land, Alan Front, spearheaded the effort to name the peak.

“The adjectives that describe the best of humankind apply to Alex,” Front said in a release. “He had the courage and tenacity, the dignity and ability to work with the local community to get the conservation job done. He had the gift of sight beyond ordinary vision.”

The bill was supported by the city of Whitefish, The Madison River Foundation, Montana Trout Unlimited, the Montana Association of Land Trusts, The Trust for Public Land, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association and the Gallatin County Commission.

In addition, a memorial is planned for Diekmann here on the Whitefish Trail at the lower trailhead off Reservoir Road where it passes through Haskill Basin.

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