Northern Plains History Project

Our history tells us that when we stand together to protect our land and communities, we make Montana a better place.

Standing Together

Watch Standing Together: Protecting Land, Air, Water, and People – the origin story of Northern Plains:

Alternatively, you may watch Water is for Fighting, a condensed retelling of our origin story with a focus on our work to protect one of the most precious resources in the west – water. 

Photo Display

Enjoy this virtual version of the Photo Display in our Home on the Range office in Billings. This display showcases notable members and moments that have shaped our organization and left a lasting impact on the issues we have organized around.

Ellen Pfister and Don Golder

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Ellen Pfister is one of the founding members of the Bull Mountain Landowners Association and, with her mother Louise, was a founding member of Northern Plains. She was the first full-term Northern Plains Chair. Trained as an attorney, Ellen was – and still is – invaluable in analyzing the intricacies of state and federal legislation and agency action, corporate lawsuits, and environmental impact statements. Ellen’s husband Don Golder was Nick Golder’s brother and ranched for years on Fattig Creek in the Bull Mountains. He joined Ellen on her ranch when they married, and was a loyal member Northern Plains member for many years.

Standing Together: Protecting Land, Air, Water, and People

Hardcover Anthology written and curated by Teresa Erickson

This 130-page anthology tells the story of Northern Plains’ work to protect the people and places we love across Montana. In addition to a written narrative, this hardbound book features photos, cartoons, artwork, news-clippings, and poetry from a half-century of tenacious grassroots organizing.


Watch this series of 1-2 minute videos covering some of the key issues that helped form Northern Plains into the organization it is today. Learn what “Our History Tells Us” about protecting our land, air, water and people: