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.

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.

Support our work!

If you’d like to support our work to protect Montana’s wildlife, consider purchasing a decorative license plate!

Please note that it is not a legal license plate for use on motor vehicles. We encourage you to get this license plate for your vehicle in the state of Montana, and you can do so at any time at your Montana DMV/county treasurer’s office.

History and Accomplishments

  • Wolf Quotas – Bear Creek Council has worked diligently to reinstate wolf hunting quotas on land bordering Yellowstone Park. Following a change in rules for hunting near the Park, 20% of the Yellowstone Wolf population was decimated in the 2021-2022 hunting season. BCC helped to organize the Wild Livelihoods business coalition and recruited over 100 businesses to sign on to the coalition. Together with Wild Livelihoods, Bear Creek Council held meetings with Widlife Commissioners, commissioned an economic study and a documentary video, and generated comments into the Wildlife Commission in support of reinstating quotas. Our hard work paid off and in August 2022 the Commission reinstated hunting quotas in the units bordering the Park.
  • 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.
  • 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.



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!​

Webinar: Putting the MT Endowment Tax Credit to Work for You

Webinar: Putting the MT Endowment..

Save the date for the second in a series of educational webinars on legacy planning, “Putting the MT Endowment Tax Credit to Work for You.” Join us and Kevin Brown, Associate Vice President of Development for Estate, Trust and Gift Planning at MSU to discover how to best utilize the now permanent Montana Endowment Tax Credit.

Wednesday, September 27th from 7:00 pm-8:00 pm

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council Annual Meeting and Potluck

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council Annual..

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council (YVCC) is celebrating its Annual Meeting and Potluck on Sunday, October 1 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

Sunday, October 1st from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm

2023 Helena Sun Run

2023 Helena Sun Run

Sleeping Giant Citizens Council’s Eighth Annual Sun Run will be held on Saturday, October 7th at the Central School, 402 N Warren Street in Helena.

Saturday, October 7th from 10:00 am-2:00 pm

Northern Plains’ 52nd Annual Meeting

Northern Plains’ 52nd Annual Meeting

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

Friday, November 10th at 9:00 am - Saturday, November 11th at 7:00 pm

Our Team

Jack Leuthold

Community Organizer

Jackson Newman

Community Organizer

Effy McEldowney

Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Michael Skinner

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

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