Voice of the River

Gallatin River Clean Up 2023

Gallatin River Recreation for All

If you drive along the Gallatin River in the summertime, you’ll likely see series of rafts bounding through iconic whitewater, anglers enjoying the blue-ribbon trout fishery casting their fly rods in hopes of reeling in a catch, and many more visitors at trailheads and campgrounds enjoying all the different experiences found along the river. From people seeking solitude to rafters looking for the thrill of whitewater , the common denominator is that they are all relishing in the recreation opportunities and scenic beauty of southwest Montana.

Though we love to see people enjoying the river, it is not without its challenges. With all the user l traffic from both visitors and locals, inevitably litter and trash accumulates, threatening the health and beauty of the Gallatin River. As the busy season begins to wind down and tourism numbers drop, the local community comes together to clean up a summer’s worth of use and protect this treasured resource.

What is The Gallatin River Clean-up?

The Gallatin River Clean-up is an annual event in partnership between the Gallatin River Task Force and the Gallatin Watershed Council to remove trash throughout the Gallatin Watershed, from Yellowstone National Park to the Missouri Headwaters. The Task Force focuses on more than 40 miles along the Upper Gallatin River including Gallatin Canyon and the stretches within the Big Sky Community. 

Gallatin River Clean up 2023 impact

With the help of more than 120 community volunteers at this year’s clean-up, we were able to make a huge impact on the Gallatin, including:

  1. Removing 1,780 pounds of trash from the Upper Gallatin watershed
  2. Covering more than 32 miles of clean-up along the Gallatin River and throughout Big Sky

Working collaboratively downstream on additional sections of the Gallatin our partners in watershed stewardship collected 1,520 lbs of trash with the help of 170 volunteers. This means that with help from partners, the Gallatin was spared from roughly 3300 pounds of trash.

Gallatin River Health

 Cleaning up litter that has accumulated throughout the summer is vital to the health of the Gallatin River, its streams, and surrounding areas. Not only does picking up trash help to protect fisheries and wildlife, preserve the water quality of our drinking water supply, and reduce harm to plants and soil, it also ensures the Gallatin River remains a beautiful place for all to enjoy.

Gallatin River Community

The impact to the community, the Gallatin River, and the watershed are far reaching and extend beyond cleaning up more than one ton of trash throughout the weekend. This event fosters a sense of community and appreciation for the river and our landscapes, and helps to broaden our team of stewards that are passionate about helping to protect our rivers and watersheds for future generations.
Jess Olson,Conservation Manager, said, 

We are incredibly thankful for all of the team leaders, individual volunteers, and sponsors that helped make this weekend a big success and we look forward to continuing hosting this annual event to partner with the community to clean-up and protect the Gallatin River.

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July 28, 2024

Join us on July 28th to make a meaningful impact in protecting the Gallatin River - your participation is vital to preserving this precious resource for future generations.

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