There are a lot of good causes that need support, but there are also some well-intentioned groups that have lost their way. Bozeman’s got both, and with all the rhetoric and propaganda out there, it can be hard to distinguish one from the other. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some local nonprofits we like.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust
GVLT plays a leading role in the creation and upkeep of some of the area’s most notable trail systems, from Peets Hill in the early 1990s to the new Chestnut Mountain Trail last year. Most notably, it has lengthened the Main Street to the Mountains trail by over 60 miles. Every year, GVLT holds a local Trails Day. gvlt.org.
Madison-Gallatin Trout Unlimited
Formed in the late 1960s by, among others, legendary local fishermen Bud Lilly and Dan Bailey, the group is a strong advocate for Montana fisheries, including habitat issues and dam threats. MGTU has actively addressed native fish restoration, stream access, and the restoration and protection of fisheries and their watersheds. mgtu.org.
Western Sustainability Exchange
Headquartered in Livingston, WSE celebrates and simplifies access to local food markets around southwest Montana. WSE created the Montana Farm to Restaurant Connection, the Livingston Farmers’ Market, and the annual Harvest Celebration. westernsustainabilityexchange.org.
Montana Wildlife Federation
MWF has spearheaded several major environmental projects, including the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust, generating millions of dollars, placing bans on oil drilling, and expanding public access opportunities. montanawildlife.com.
This group focuses on coexistence among native predators, recreationists, and landowners. It utilizes nonlethal methods to deter wolves before problems begin, and the group teaches children commonsense precautions in the wild, ultimately facilitating peaceful coexistence with wildlife predators. keystoneconservation.us.