Voice of the River

Meet Volunteer Task Force Member Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson is a busy guy.

Adam works in the Environmental Management Program at the Yellowstone Club, and builds mountain bike trails on the side. When he’s not working, Adam goes to great lengths to protect the Gallatin River Watershed. We sat down with Adam the other day to learn why he decided to become a member of the Volunteer Task Force. Hear what he had to say!

How did you get involved with conservation work?

I grew up playing and recreating in watersheds. My interest began in college while getting an undergraduate degree in geology. After graduating, I worked for a summer on oil and natural gas rigs. The work was interesting, but the life style did not fit me. I decided I liked working with water better, so I went back to school for a degree in watershed hydrology.

What brought you to Big Sky?

I am from Montana and graduated from high school in Whitefish. After college I spent three winters teaching skiing in southern Germany, where I met some of my best friends, most of whom are from Bozeman. When we returned to the states, I decided to move to Bozeman to keep hanging out with them and I landed a job building trails at the Yellowstone Club.

Tell us about your favorite Big Sky area outdoor adventure.

I am a primarily a mountain biker in the summer and I have had a few very memorable rides in the area, but I also help build trails. The best experiences have been taking friends on fresh single track and watching the network of trails begin to link up into new rides.


Adam, Meredith, and Stephanie conducting a pebble count on a smokey August day at the Big Horn site in Yellowstone National Park.

What’s your role with the Task Force?

I am a volunteer and have helped with water quality monitoring, river cleanup, and pebble counts.

Why do you want to protect the Gallatin River?

Rivers are the life blood of all of our communities, from water sources to playgrounds. The Gallatin is unique in that it has roots in Yellowstone Park, traverses intriguing geology and provides water, jobs, and recreation opportunities to our community

What’s been your favorite volunteer event?

I enjoy the pebble counts the most. You get to be in the water all day.

Why do you think people should volunteer?

The quote “it takes a village to raise a child” can be aptly applied to communities in that it takes a village of volunteers to raise a community. I have been extremely fortunate to have benefited from the hard work of individuals volunteering their time, from childhood soccer teams and ski teams, to college mentoring programs. Volunteering myself is a way give back and assist in bettering my surroundings, from water issues to recreation access, and also share a passion.

Be like Adam this summer! Check out our events feed or sign up for our Enews. Join the Volunteer Task Force here.

Photos by Rich Addicks and Patti Lynn


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