The Big Sky Headwaters Alliance is a group of business, conservation, recreation, local government, and state agency partners coordinating to sustainably manage water resources in Big Sky. The Alliance, through a series of committees, focuses on implementing the priorities identified in a stewardship plan created by the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum. The watershed stewardship plan outlines recommendations, goals, priorities, and actions identified for three co-equal focus areas: the ecological health of the river systems, water supply and availability, and wastewater treatment and reuse.
Big Sky strives to be a model mountain community by protecting and improving water resources, sustaining the ecological health of the watersheds, and supporting a vibrant local economy.
River System Health
A principled approach to watershed stewardship that includes human activities and natural processes that maintain and enhance stream, riparian, and wetland conditions and connections, ensuring water remains clean and cold.
Water Supply & Availability
Manage and balance surface and groundwater supplies for a vibrant community sustaining a broad spectrum of uses and values including fisheries, wildlife, recreation, agriculture, municipal, and domestic needs.
Wastewater Treatment & Reuse
Develop and implement holistic wastewater and stormwater management, utilizing best available technologies and practices, to meet Big Sky’s long-term community needs and protect and improve the ecological health of the river systems.
A plan without projects is just a long, boring stack of paper. Luckily, Alliance partners are putting our efforts into action, launching outcomes-oriented activities to conserve and restore the Upper Gallatin Watershed.
Upper Deer Creek Restoration
Crews broke ground on the Upper Deer Creek Riparian Habitat and River Access Restoration project in late summer 2020. Once complete, the popular river-access site will feature a restored wetland and enhanced network of angler trails. Learn more.
Gallatin Canyon GWIP
To ensure future land development does not have negative impacts on the Gallatin, we’re working with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology to better understand surface and groundwater dynamics in the rapidly changing Canyon area. Learn more.
Algae Bloom Study & Monitoring
In response to ongoing wide-spread algae blooms, we’ve partnered with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to study growth drivers and plan mitigation of future algae blooms. What we learn will directly impact water quality in the years to come. Learn more.