Partner Spotlight: Gallatin Watershed Council


At Highline Adventures, we’re proud to partner with the Gallatin Watershed Council to make positive changes in Gallatin Valley and beyond. Take a look at some of the powerful work they’re doing, and how you can get involved, too. It’s all about helping support the natural spaces we love here in Southwest Montana, from West Yellowstone to Big Sky and Bozeman.

What is a watershed?

You might have also heard the terms “catchment” or “drainage basin” to refer to a watershed. It’s basically the portion of land that channels water from surrounding rivers, creeks and streams down towards an outflow point, which could be the ocean, a bay or a reservoir. That’s a big answer to a short question, especially given all of the plants and animals—including humans—who rely on that land and the water it contains. It’s in all of our best interests to support the watershed we rely on.

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About the Gallatin Watershed Council

Since 2004, the Gallatin Watershed Council has been working hard to help the waters of the Gallatin River and its connecting streams. With nearly 1.2 million acres beginning in Yellowstone National Park, the watershed covers a verdant swath of Southwest Montana. In partnering with area businesses, organizations and individuals, the council can have an even bigger impact on the region and the community.

Restoration Projects

The GWC keeps plenty of water-improving projects going on in the region. Take the Lower Gallatin Watershed Restoration Plan, which helps prioritize possible projects to improve local waterways – 33 in fact. With approval from Montana Department of Environmental Quality, this plan lets GWC apply for grant funding to help improve water quality in and around the valley.

The Urban Canopy Initiative and the Adopt a Boulevard Program works to expand urban canopy in town, planting trees in neglected corners of town. Even city streets and the plants you find in the front yard connect to the greater ecosystem of the watershed. This project will address areas of need by coordinating planting and community support across town.

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How You Can Get Involved

From volunteering time to making impactful donations, getting involved is easy. Signing on for the annual stream cleanup day can give a great introduction to stream improvement while you get an inside look at a unique part of the valley.

Being a water steward is as simple as taking the water stewardship pledge, picking up a steward passport, collecting stamps and entering to win prizes. You can pick up your passport at all three of Highline Adventures’ Bozeman locations, including Bozeman Trail Campground, the Baymont by Wyndham, and the Western Heritage Inn.

Getting out and using your passport is a fun way to learn more about the region and how to support the waterways. You can find family-friendly stampable activities and ideas of things to do on the GWC website, with river cleanups and summer festivals on the docket. Plan a few into your schedule for fun ways to support our natural spaces here in Southwest Montana.

How Highline’s Involved

Highline is committed to being a steward, implementing water-saving measures across properties and offering watershed training to staff at each of our properties. Highline also leads a team each year in the annual Gallatin River Clean Up.

We highly encourage all of our guests to give back as they travel to new places, whether that’s through volunteering, supporting the local economy or simply picking up trash in the places where you recreate. For more ideas on how to travel more sustainably, check out the rest of the Highline Adventures Blog.