Flushed Down River

Yellowstone Club Wastewater Spill, Gallatin River

Flushed Down River

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Keatan Williams

Big Sky’s growth is no joke: by 2020 its sewer district is expected to max out wastewater storage options, meaning big investments and big change are on the horizon. A very real question moving forward is whether uncontrolled growth can coexist with healthy streams, fisheries, and landscapes. Since August 2016, a diverse group of stakeholders, including the Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, the Gallatin Wildlife Association, and Montana River Action, have met to determine the opportunities—and consequences—for Big Sky’s water, with the intent of having a Watershed Management Plan by December 2017. While nothing has been settled, potential solutions currently range from high-tech water-treatment options to putting a discharge pipe in the Gallatin River. Public meetings of the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum will continue this fall, and a third-party informational meeting will be held September 14 at the Bozeman Public Library. Attend these meetings, get educated, and help influence the future of Big Sky and the Gallatin River. 

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