This had been a big year for the Task Force. As an organization, we’ve grown both internally and externally. Over the past year, we’ve added new board and staff members and successfully rebranded our organization. In addition, we’ve taken on two new restoration projects and expanded our list of local, state, and federal partners. In 2016, we’ll continue to expand by facilitating a community-wide water management plan and growing our education programs.
Before the holiday season, we wanted to take a moment to state our gratitude for the individuals and organizations that made our work possible this year!
Partners, Sponsors, Donors, and Members: We, at the Task Force, feel grateful for a diverse and passionate list of associates. We’ve had a blast partnering with the Big Sky Community Corps to expand the educational component of their trail system; joining Montanans for Healthy Rivers to garner support for the Wild & Scenic Citizens Proposal; and exploring microplastics in the Gallatin Watershed with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.
Our restoration work simply wouldn’t be possible without technical expertise from Respec Consulting and Services; not to mention, the financial support we received from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Patagonia, and the Big Sky Resort Area Tax District, just to name a few.
Big Sky Watershed Corps: The Big Sky Watershed Corps is an AmeriCorps program that places young professionals in Montana watershed communities where they can make a measurable difference in local conservation efforts.
Over the past four years, the Big Sky Watershed Corps has expanded our capacity as an organization in innumerable ways. Corps members have developed our volunteer monitoring program, coordinated educational activities, and expanded our voice in the community. We’re excited to participate in the program once again in 2016!
Volunteers and Board: We feel incredibly fortunate to have an engaged board, filled with individuals eager to go the extra trout-filled mile for the Gallatin River Watershed. In addition, our growing volunteer base makes our monitoring and restoration work possible. This dedicated crew gives generously to preserve and protect the Gallatin River Watershed.
Our Community: We’re thankful for a community that loves and relies on the river. In Big Sky, our way of life is intimately connected to our natural resources, particularly the Gallatin River. We feel lucky to have a community that values our pristine environment, and the Task Force’s role in ensuring a healthy Gallatin River Watershed for future generations. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
A Healthy River: Last but not least, we’re thankful for the Gallatin River! Clean, cold, abundant water is a valuable and scarce resource. Although nearly three quarters of Earth’s surface is covered in water, less than 3% of all the water on Earth is fresh! Most of that freshwater is trapped in ice or underground. In fact, rivers make up less than 0.5% of all freshwater available at Earth’s surface surface.
Native trout, like Westslope Cutthroat, thrive in clean, cold rivers where the temperature ranges from 50 – 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Few rivers in the world provide good habitat for trout. We feel fortunate to live in watershed that is designated a Blue Ribbon (Class I) trout fishery.
Our river is a precious resource. Let’s keep it that way!
Of course, we can’t adequately thank everyone who has been instrumental to our success this past year.