“It’s the nutrients, stupid.” That’s a paraphrase of the now-classic campaign line by James Carville, but when it comes to improving water quality in the Big Sky area, the solution is almost that simple. If we want cleaner water, we must reduce the concentration of...
Recently, I stopped along the Gallatin to enjoy a peaceful moment at the river’s edge. Pulling into the access site adjacent to the Hwy. 191 stoplight, I expected an idyllic scene of slow-moving, crystal clear water. What I got was the opposite. Originating from...
Big Sky has a poop problem. Rapid growth and decentralized infrastructure have led to three streams flowing through our community below state standards for water quality. Higher-than-ideal levels of certain nutrients qualify the streams as impaired, and these...
Recently, winter stormed back onto the southwest Montana landscape. A March 24 storm left almost a foot of snow on the slopes high above Big Sky, with a few inches dusting the meadows and canyons closer to the Gallatin River. On the morning of March 25, our...
Though Big Sky’s full-time population is rapidly growing, this is still a tourist town. As such, there are a variety of inns, lodges, hotels and motels, all catering to visitors itching to enjoy southwest Montana’s natural beauty. While AirBnB-style rentals are...
So far, this season has been a mild one. While the Natural Resources Conservation Service is reporting a Gallatin watershed snowpack that’s 121 percent of normal, it didn't feel much like winter until the last week of storms. Even with snowfall, temps have remained...
On January 7th, the Resort Tax board approved Big Sky Sewer and Water District’s 1% for Infrastructure application. Now, residents will vote in May to approve the additional tax, with revenues helping pay for a portion of a new, upgraded wastewater treatment plant and...
In a salt-based system, healthy calcium and magnesium are replaced by equal parts of sodium, and the significant volume of water used in this process is flushed down the drain.
Technology is ubiquitous in our 21st-century lives. It permeates our socializing, our shopping, our banking and even our driving. Why not use it to maximize our water conservation? That’s exactly what the Big Sky Water and Sewer District is doing with the...
Groundwater study to impact water management. BY Kristin Gardner, Executive Director Groundwater quality and quantity is threatened by the proliferation of septic systems and individual wells in the Upper Gallatin Canyon. This could lead to the degradation of...
Over the past year, sustainability initiatives have been gaining momentum across Big Sky. After recently participating in a two-day workshop on sustainable tourism and the inaugural meeting of the Big Sky Sustainability Committee, I have been ruminating on water sustainability in Big Sky.
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum proposed strategies to encourage Big Sky residents and visitors to use less water; increase water recycling; and preserve and enhance streams, riparian areas, and wetlands. The Water Forum presented twelve consensus recommendations to the community on January 31, 2018. Successful implementation will ensure that this mountain resort community supports healthy rivers and a thriving human community.
Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum Brings Recommendations and Plan for Sustaining Water Resources to the Community
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) is hosting a community town hall meeting to share its recommendations for sustaining water resources in the Big Sky area. The meeting will be held on January 31, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Big Sky Chapel.
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum stakeholders reached consensus on recommendations for community-based priorities and actions to manage water resources in Big Sky. These actions will allow community partners to work together to address current impacts to water resources, maintain and enhance healthy river systems, maximize valuable and limited water assets, slow the flow of water through the watershed, and improve the community’s collective knowledge of the health of Big Sky’s water resources.
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) is finalizing its recommendations for action and a watershed stewardship plan to address water resources across watersheds and communities within the Big Sky area.
Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum Begins to Identify Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Priorities
A collaborative group of diverse stakeholders has been meeting since June 2016 to address water resource management in Big Sky. The group strives to protect and enhance the health of the river systems while providing for the needs of a growing community. In a recent meeting, the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum focused on identifying priorities for wastewater treatment and reuse.
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) is hosting two community meetings in Gallatin Valley focused on Big Sky’s water resources. Stewardship decisions made in Big Sky affect both the Gallatin and Madison river systems. Meetings will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on September 13 at the Belgrade Community Library and on September 18 at the Bozeman Public Library.
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum has a vision for Big Sky to be a model mountain community for water resource management. Successfully achieving this vision will require strong community engagement. Participate in holistic watershed planning in Big Sky by taking our short survey.
Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum Collectively Identifies Goals and Initial Priorities for Water Resource Management
Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) stakeholders, representing diverse community and watershed perspectives, continue the collaborative effort to develop a unified watershed stewardship plan for the Big Sky area. This approach to water resources management is important because it helps the entire community work together to make decisions and manage water resources for the long term.
Participants have strongly stated that they want Big Sky to be a model community. Achieving that requires working together on common goals to address water resource challenges.
On April 27, Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) stakeholders and community members dove into initial analysis of what solutions might best address the water resource needs of growing human community and thriving natural river systems. Stakeholders representing community, business, conservation, recreation, downstream, local government, and agency perspectives have been meeting since June 2016 to create a community-based approach to water resources management.
On March 30, the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) finalized its community goals for water resources. This is the first time a diverse, community-based effort has identified desired outcomes for the area. The goals expressed represent an umbrella of the priorities for water resources management.
On February 21, the Big Sky Sustainable Water Forum (Water Forum) stakeholders and several other interested members of the community discussed how best to express their joint desired outcomes for the future of Big Sky’s water resources through a statement of goals.
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) is moving forward toward setting goals to guide the future of water resources management. On January 12, stakeholders met to begin the identify common ground on what outcomes are desired. Designated Water Forum stakeholders and additional members of the community expressed perspectives on water resources outcomes and identified themes that represent major values and considerations as the group moves forward.
About 90 people came to hear information about the current and future ecological health of the rivers, water supply, and wastewater treatment and disposal at a community meeting held December 6 at Buck’s T-4 and led by the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum.
Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum stakeholders shared information on wastewater treatment and disposal in the Big Sky area on November 3rd, 2016.
Wastewater treatment and disposal will play a critical role as Big Sky develops. Kevin Germain, Lone Mountain Land Company’s Vice President of Planning and Development, tied infrastructure to building community, “to solve affordable housing needs, we need to solve water and wastewater needs”.
In the second of three meetings focused on information sharing, Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (BSSWS) stakeholders shared information about water supply and availability in the Big Sky area. Overall, water supply and storage are limited. This means that managing existing water supply is important for the future health of the Big Sky community, downstream users, fisheries, and the ecosystem.
A group of stakeholder met to discuss the ecological health of the Big Sky area river systems during the second Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum meeting on August 31, 2016.
By Karen Filipovich What happens to water resources when two of Montana’s premier river headwaters become a four-season resort hub and growing community? The members of the new Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum hope to answer this question by developing a...
Healthy watersheds and clean and abundant water resources are a vital part of the Big Sky area, now and into the future. Big Sky is growing rapidly, with significant development projected in the next several years. In December 2015, the Gallatin River Task Force initiated an effort to gauge public interest in convening a community-based, collaborative watershed planning process in the Upper Gallatin Watershed. Beginning in January 2016, contacts were made with 32 watershed stakeholders representing community, business, and conservation interests as well as local, state, and federal government. Almost unanimously, there was strong interest voiced in participating in a community-based approach.