Gallatin River Forever

We love rivers and especially the Gallatin

The Gallatin River Forever Campaign is all about doing the tangible things that must be done NOW to preserve the river we love. There is A LOT to be done, and much of it is URGENT. You can make a difference.

Alan Johnson

Gallatin River Resident, Born and Raised

Gallatin River Forever is a campaign to monitor, repair, and improve the Gallatin River and its tributaries to ensure the long-term health of the watershed. Below is a brief description of the four campaign initiatives.

River Restoration and Improved Access

The Upper Gallatin River is a world-class place, loved by all who value outdoor experiences. Where it flows through the Custer Gallatin National Forest, the river is also easily accessed. That combination has brought about increased use, which threatens the river’s health by eroding streambanks and trampling streamside vegetation. The Gallatin River Task Force has put together an ambitious plan to improve public access with the goal of repairing those damaged locations. Our first project is at Moose Creek Flat Recreational Area, followed by three other locations: Deer Creek, Baetis Alley, and Porcupine. Together, these projects will keep the Gallatin pristine for future generations to enjoy. 


Gallatin River Task Force volunteers and partners worked together to restore streamside habitat at the popular Moose Creek Flat river access site.

Watershed Monitoring

A volunteer measures dissolved oxygen levels at the Big Horn site located near the headwaters of the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park.

Watershed monitoring helps us to understand the future of the Gallatin River in a changing world. Since 2000, the Gallatin River Task Force has built an invaluable record of water quality and habitat data for the Gallatin River and its tributaries. When fully funded, the Task Force will be able to increase the scope and intensity of its watershed monitoring program to evaluate the impacts of climate change and increased demands on water resources. 

Organizational Sustainability

As the only non-profit committed to ensuring the long-term health of the Upper Gallatin, our sustainability is vital to our community. We are grateful to receive consistent annual support from the Big Sky Resort Tax and other sources to help our organization; however, these funds are not guaranteed. Furthermore, as our community has grown, so has the need to protect our local waters. In planning for our future, our sustainability will require funding outside of, and in addition to, our traditional sources. For this reason, we have identified the need for a full-time development staff member to help us fund future projects that will keep us true to our mission of a healthy Gallatin River for future generations.

Dedicated staff, board members, Friends of the Gallatin members, and volunteers work towards a common goal of ensuring a healthy Gallatin River for future generations.

Education and Outreach

Our youth are tomorrow’s leaders. A child who is excited to go fly fishing; be a water scientist; or who simply enjoys splashing, playing, and swimming in the cold, clean waters of the Gallatin River will cherish those experiences for a lifetime.

The Gallatin River needs an engaged community to protect it, now and forever. Our education and outreach activities elevate the importance of the river in our community, identify individual actions that positively and negatively impact the river, and build river stewardship to ensure the long-term health of the watershed. Through the capital campaign, we will be able to expand youth hands-on programming and adult continuing education opportunities to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders. 


Lead Donors

An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries. It makes us all very fearful that all rivers will go this way unless somebody acts now to try to balance our river development.

President Lyndon B. Johnson

Remarks on signing the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act


Madison County, Yellowstone Club, and Eric Schmidt

$1,000 to 10,000:

Geyser Whitewater Expeditions, Lone Mountain Ranch, Tim Coleman, Michael Tyrrell, William Johnson, Brian Kavoogian, Brian Klein, Drew McKnight, Mark Maruszewski, David Arnholt, Robert Greenhill, Robert Sauerberg, Ernest Parizeau, Timothy Colton, Aspen Property Management, Jamie & Kristen Browne, Ellis & Eve Short, Mr. and Mrs. Bary Bergman, Thomas Frist III, Mike Richter, Carrie Morgridge, Hans Brigam, Knight Foundation, Matthew Kidd, Johan Eveland, Michael Piper, Rich Addicks, Emerson Family, John Lashar, Thomas Middleton, Christopher E. Spence, Joseph Zink, Kevin Corgan, Matthew Crawford, Michael Jacquard, Ron Bowlin, Eric Ladd, Simms, Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, Gallatin Resource Advisory Committee, Madison-Gallatin Trout Unlimited Chapter, Ryan Newcomb, John Thompson, Pete Spano, Michael Hall, Michael Roberge, Mr. Ian R. & Mrs Wendy E. Sacks, Mr. Daniel & Ms Stacie Allen, Adam & Kate Clammer, David & Nina Fialkow, Thomas Wagner, Paul & Jacqueline McCoy, Moonlight Community Foundation, Big Sky PBR 2017, and Arthur M. Blank Foundation

$10,000 to 100,000:

Alan & Becky Johnson, Future Fisheries, Custer Gallatin National Forest, Paul Gannon, Brian Patrican, RL Jones Gift Fund, Nunley & Dupree Family Office, Lew & Jay Jacobs, Big Sky Rotary Club, Patagonia, John Calnan, Big Sky PBR 2018, Bill Bruner, Gallatin River Fly Fishing Festival 2018, Rick Donaldson, Tim McKenna, Mike Scholz, Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, Jim Kennedy, Bill Collins, John & Stephanie Ingram, John Rocchio, William Pappendick, and Turner Foundation


Christopher Hall, Meredith Christenson, Douglas Shufelt, Eric Cressy, Jennie Friend, Albert Lockwood, Philip Hoffman, Jeanne Lang, Lauren Pressman Greenfield, Paul Ferri, Robert Dreier, James Hagar, Anne Hall, Christopher Hall, Byron Deeter, Braden Hopkins, Curtis Oberg, Jeremiah Daly, Jason Cummins, Scott Hamburg, Bryan Sparkes, Rich Chandler, Ron Edwards, Emily & Joe Berry, Lisa Zelson, Melissa McKeithen, Walt Schroth, Sam Kliger, Patricia Gordon, Steven Purpura, Ed Benz, Harry Brakeley, Jennifer & Erich C. Buddenhagen, and Dwyer Family Fund (Marjorie and Matthew)

You can ensure a healthy Gallatin River for future generations.

This sign, which stood at the junction of Highway 191 and 64 during the early 20th century, reads, “A forest guide lives on top of the mountain to watch for fires. Will you help him?” Like the forest guide, we watch for “fires” that threaten the health of our river today.

Will you join us?

The Gallatin River Task Force is a 501c3 Charitable Nonprofit. Donations are tax-deductible and our Tax ID# is 74-3127146.