Gallatin River Task Force

BIG SKY – The Blue Water Task Force officially changed its name to the Gallatin River Task Force on May 13 in an effort to create a clear link to their mission and a direct tie to the Gallatin River. A new website and logo will be launched soon to reflect this new identity.

“These changes are part of an overall effort to build our capacity to meet the growing needs of protecting water resources in the Upper Gallatin Watershed,” said Kristin Gardner, GRTF Executive Director.

Although the name has changed, the work remains the same. The task force will continue to be a leader in protecting water quality and quantity in the Upper Gallatin watershed and maintain their core programs in water quality monitoring, education and outreach, as well as watershed assessment and restoration.

Along with the name change, GRTF also refreshed its vision and mission. The nonprofit will work under the vision of “a healthy Gallatin River Watershed for future generations,” and a mission “to partner with our community to inspire stewardship of the Gallatin River watershed.”

“This is an important milestone for our organization,” Gardner said. “I am confident these changes will lead to better protection and stewardship of the river.”

When the task force was started by a small group of concerned citizens in 2000, its main focus was water quality monitoring. Today, that focus has expanded to restoration projects. Current projects include improving river access at key locations along the Gallatin River canyon, as well as restoring wetlands and stream banks of the Upper West Fork of the Gallatin in an attempt to filter nitrogen from runoff. GRTF is also partnering with Montanans for Healthy Rivers as they pursue a Wild and Scenic designation for the Gallatin.

These new changes are reflective of the GRTF board’s new focus in helping sustain world-class recreational opportunities on the Gallatin River.

“The increased population of Big Sky is in my mind the biggest single threat to the health of the Gallatin, if managed incorrectly,” said GRTF board member Rich Chandler. “I feel it is really up to the task force to be a leader in the community and to ensure a healthy Gallatin River.”