Bear Creek Council

Bear Creek Council is based in Gardiner, Montana on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. We work closely with park rangers and local citizens to conserve and protect the integrity of our environment and community.

Our Mission

People working to conserve and protect the integrity of our environment and community.

Current Campaigns

Protecting Yellowstone Wolves

This season, 20% of the park’s wolf population was killed (the park typically loses only 2% to 3% of wolves annually to hunting) because of a change in hunting rules surrounding the Yellowstone. Visitors from all over the world come to the park to view Yellowstone wolves. Bear Creek Council is working to protect wolves at the borders of Yellowstone National Park.

Issues We Work On

Bear Awareness Gardiner

Living at the entrance to Yellowstone means living with bears. Bear Awareness Gardiner has helped supply bear-resistant trash cans and bear safety education to residents in and around the north entrance to the park. Contact us if you would like a bear-resistant trash container!

Living with Wildlife

The livelihoods of many Gardiner Basin residents depend on the wildlife in the area. Whether for tourism, research, or outfitting, the wolves, bison, bears, and other wildlife are a high priority to Bear Creek Council.

Bear Creek Council hosted a series of webinars in the Spring of 2021 on safety tips for living with wolves, cougars and bears.

History and Accomplishments

  • Hard rock Mining – Local citizens started Bear Creek Council in 1983 after hard rock mining was revived on nearby Bear Creek and adjacent to Yellowstone National Park’s boundary. Since that time, Bear Creek Council has worked to minimize the mine’s impact on the area, including monitoring its reclamation. Bear Creek Council was instrumental in providing oversight of the Darroch-Eagle Timber Sale above Jardine.
  • Greening Gardiner – Bear Creek Council has brought solar energy to the Gardiner Basin by putting 24 solar panels on the Gardiner School, leading solar workshops in the community, and doing a solar assessment of public buildings.

  • Community Fun – For nearly 30 years Bear Creek Council has hosted the Jardine Ski Run, a cross country race on Mineral Hill, and now each year they also host an annual Holiday Party, highway clean ups, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and Earth Day outreach activities.



Nathan Varley

Vice Chair

Richard Parks


Colette Daigle-Berg


Barbara Ulrich

Northern Plains Board Representative

Barbara Ulrich
Nathan Varley

Community Organizer

Check out these upcoming events in your area!​

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council Annual Meeting

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council Annual..

Join Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council (YVCC) for our Annual Meeting! We’re bringing back our potluck for 2022, and we’re excited to join our members together in-person again.

Northern Plains’ 51st Annual Meeting

Northern Plains’ 51st Annual Meeting

After a half century of protecting Montanans’ right to a clean and healthful environment, this year Northern Plains is Bringing Democracy Home. Join us for our 51st Annual Meeting!


Our Team

Effy McEldowney

Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Michael Skinner

GNA Manager and Community Organizer

Jeanie Alderson, Birney

Past Chair

Emma Kerr-Carpenter, Billings

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council

Kris Glenn, Billings

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council

John Gayusky, Livingston

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council

Joan Kresich, Livingston

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council

Tom Heyneman, Fishtail

Affiliate Representatives- Stillwater Protective Association

Edward Barta, Billings

Vice-Chair & Affiliate Representatives - Stillwater Protective Association

Mic Smith, Helena

Affiliate Representatives- Sleeping Giant Citizens Council

Sign up to receive important email updates!

Stay informed about the work we are doing across Montana to protect our air, water, agriculture, and natural resources.

WordPress Lightbox