Farm retreat planned in Bigfork

by Daily Inter Lake
March 25, 2020 1:00 AM

Owners of Ranger Spring Farm, a 470-acre property on Montana 35, have applied for a conditional-use permit for a camp-retreat designation that would allow them to host people of all ages for agricultural, educational and equestrian programs, application documents show.

Through the nonprofit organization Paladin, which is based on the farm, organizers hope to showcase Western history and bring children with special needs or terminally illnesses for a day on the farm. The objective is to provide “a more complete experience to few, rather than many.” Once the farm is updated, occasional farm tours, senior trips or school field trips may arrive by bus, documents show. Employees are estimated at three to four full-time workers with one or two residing on the property. Daily visitor participants are estimated at three to eight guests, with fewer likely during the winter months.

There are existing buildings on the property and no significant new buildings planned, according to the application. The applicants include owner Reed Darrow and operator, Doug Averill of DA Management Corporation.

The Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee will review the application in an online meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 26. The meeting will be conducted on the video conferencing program, Zoom, which can be downloaded for free on

Between 3:45 and 4 p.m. attendees are asked to join the meeting by visiting If you are not able to join by video or if your audio/microphone is not working, use this method:

Dial 1 669 900 6833; Meeting ID: 580 189 475