The Gallatin and Madison Ranges are southwest Montana’s wild backyards.

Teeming with wildlife and steeped in historical recreational uses, these ranges serve as Bozeman, Livingston, Big Sky and West Yellowstone’s favorite after work and weekend playgrounds.

These public lands also provide vital resources to our community including nearly 80% of Bozeman’s drinking water supply, and are rich in important undeveloped open spaces and trails that attract business to southwest Montana and feed our growing outdoor recreation economy https://outdoorindustry.org/advocacy/.

For many years, diverse stakeholders have come together, put their differences aside, and focused on creating land management solutions for these areas that benefit all. In this collaborative spirit we have created the Gallatin Forest Partnership, and reached an agreement about how valued public lands within the Gallatin and Madison Ranges could be managed that takes into consideration wildlife, historic recreational use, and the water supply of the Gallatin Valley.

As more and more people are moving to southwest Montana, more and more people are using these places creating conflict either between people and/or with wildlife. This agreement provides all of us – people and animals – trails and streams and places in the Gallatin and Madison Ranges to adventure and explore. Download full agreement.

Agreement

Working Together

For the past several years our partnership has worked together to develop an agreement surrounding the Gallatin and Madison Ranges that supports existing recreational uses of these cherished lands, ensures wildlife have plenty of room to roam, and safeguards Bozeman’s drinking water supply.

  • Invasive Weeds

    We recommend a cooperative and adequately funded invasive species plan to identify, manage and eradicate noxious and invasive species.

  • Wildland, Prescribed Fire and Timber

    By focusing active vegetation and fire management outside of designated areas and in the Wildland Urban Interface we can reduce the risk posed by high severity fires and restore more resilient conditions to forested habitats.

  • Wildlife

    We can maintain and enhance the current high-quality habitat and connections that ensures the diversity and abundance of wildlife species in the Gallatin and Madison Ranges. This includes identifying and designating high value habitats like winter range and migration routes as well as working with partners to gather data and educate the public about safe recreation in important wildlife habitats.

  • Designations

    We propose a combination of conservation and recreation designations in the heart of the Gallatin Range and portions of the Madison Range to protect wildlife habitat, clean water, undeveloped lands and diverse recreation access. The map of the Gallatin Forest Partnership’s Agreement depicts the exact locations and types of designation.

“Our groundbreaking agreement will protect the character of our wild backyard – the Gallatin & Madison Ranges – while also maintaining access for all the different ways we recreate in this place. As more and more people are moving here, more and more people are using these places and creating conflict either between people or with wildlife. This agreement provides all of us – people and animals – trails and streams and places in the Gallatin and Madison Ranges to adventure and explore.”

  • Water Resources

    We must maintain the ecological health, clean water and connected character of the headwaters streams in the Gallatin and Madison Ranges in order to sustain the vibrant, low-impact recreation in the area.

  • Recreation

    Outside of the proposed designations, we have identified several key areas in the Gallatin Range and along the western flank of the Absaroka Wilderness where the Forest Service could enhance diverse recreation opportunities, cooperative land stewardship, and public land access.

  • Outfitting and Guiding

    We recommend establishing sustainable (socially, administratively and ecologically) levels of outfitted and guided activities to protect public land resources and provide economically viable business opportunities.

  • Designations

    We propose a combination of conservation and recreation designations in the heart of the Gallatin Range and portions of the Madison Range to protect wildlife habitat, clean water, undeveloped lands and diverse recreation access. The map of the Gallatin Forest Partnership’s Agreement depicts the exact locations and types of designation.

These Public Lands also Provide Vital Resources to Our Community.

0% of Bozeman’s drinking water supply
comes from these public lands

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