By Katie Alvin Executive Director of Jack Creek Preserve Foundation

The Jack Creek Preserve Foundation
is a 501(c)3 organization that
promotes wildlife conservation and
youth education by sharing 4,600
acres of pristine wilderness in the
Northern Yellowstone Ecosystem.
It’s entirely funded by donations and
With the donation of land and a
significant endowment, the Preserve
and its foundation were created by
the Fossel family in 2005. Located
in the Madison Range of Southwest
Montana, between Ennis and
Big Sky, the property connects two
separate sections of the Lee Metcalf
Wilderness Area, extending critical
wildlife habitat from Yellowstone
National Park to the Gallatin Valley
and northward.
The foundation supports management
of the Preserve, as well as
development and execution of its
programs. The organization works
to conserve wildlife and its habitat,
expand education and outreach, and
to share the hunting experience. Conservation
goals are achieved through
partnerships with organizations like
the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,
local conservation districts, watershed
groups and weed boards.
The foundation has four main
programs that promote education:
experiential educational experiences,
awards and scholarships, a planned
Conservation Education Center and
an interpretive trail system.
Since 2005, more than 500 youth
have been reached through our
educational efforts, which include
after school programs, high school
expeditions, summer day camps and
an overnight youth camp. Our science
fair awards and college scholarships
have provided over $37,000 to
students. We have raised nearly one
third of the money to build the “Con-
Ed” Center, and the interpretive trail
system project is well under way.
The final part of our mission is to
share the hunting experience, in
order to promote the important role
that hunting plays in wildlife conservation,
and to encourage safe and
ethical hunting practices. Special
emphasis is placed on teaching young
people to respect wildlife and be
safe, responsible hunters. We have a
public archery range on property. The
Foundation also awards free hunting
opportunities to injured veterans of
the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The Jack Creek Preserve Foundation
office is in Big Sky.