Working Lands, Open Spaces & Clean Water in the Upper Yellowstone Watershed
Those are the values of the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group. That's what we do. As local citizens, we passionately pursue them out of love for the Upper Yellowstone Watershed...and our obligation to leave it better and more sustainable than we found it for the coming generations...no matter the species.
The Yellowstone River stretches over 670 miles and is the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. Originating in Yellowstone National Park and entering Montana in the town of Gardiner, it drains 70,000 square miles of land, before it joins the Missouri River northeast of Sidney, Montana. In addition to an abundance of fish and wildlife, the Yellowstone River supports a wide variety of tourism, agricultural, industrial, and recreational uses. Native Americans have lived in the area for at least 11,000 years and have often used the name translated as Elk River to identify it (Poônôkaiit”taa in Blackfeet and Ichílíkasháashe in Crow).
Our businesses and citizens are surrounded by some of the largest expanses of public lands in North America. We seek ways to that land and its wildlife from uses that would destroy its future resiliency at tax payer expense.
Our most recent project, federal legislation called the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, was focused on federal legislation to protect 30,000 acres of public land from industrial gold mining at the footsteps of Yellowstone Park.
Our farming and ranching members work together to preserve wide open spaces, healthy soils, sustainable water use, and profitable business operations through innovative technologies.
One of our current projects, LandNET, involves profitable regenerative agricultural practices and technology solutions for managing livestock and wildlife.
Our tourism and recreation businesses, alongside private land owners, work together to protect water quality and quantity for future generations of fish, wildlife & people.
One current project, RiverNET, focuses on water monitoring that can be used by scientists, for example, to understand possible causes of disease that shut down the Yellowstone River in 2016.