Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council

Join Us Today!
Canyon Creek school garden
Becky Mitchell speaks about the importance of the Tongue River Valley
A crowd packs the library to hear food system economist Ken Meter
A Lummi totem pole ceremony at Riverfront Park
Rally at the tracks against coal exports
Summer Solstice Celebration cookout
Membership mixer at Katherine Jabs home

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About Us

Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council (YVCC) advocates for a healthy, inviting, and sustainable community in Yellowstone County by:

  • Educating, mobilizing, and testifying to ensure citizen’ voices are heard in the local and state government decision–making process;
  • Formulating grand visions of a healthy and sustainable community and working cooperatively to achieve them.


Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council currently has four standing campaigns. Want to join a committee? Contact Kari for more information at or call (406) 248-1154.

  • Community Food: YVCC’s goal is to expand and increase local food so that producers, consumers, distributors, and institutions in Yellowstone County make it their first choice! There are many opportunities to get local food in Billings today—but we could do much more. Learn about our efforts to launch a food hub for processing, storage, and distribution of locally grown food across south-central Montana.

Food hub brochure.

In the News:

Film Festival Looks at Food as Part of larger Conversation

Speaker Sees Local Economic Growth Thru Local Foods

“Local Food Expert Speaks in Billings” in Billings Gazette

  • Coal Export: Have you heard about the plans of coal mining companies in the Powder River Basin? In the face of diminishing coal demand in the US, they are seeking to build big new coal shipping facilities on the Pacific coast to ship coal to Asia. That means more coal train traffic in Billings—potentially a lot more. YVCC is working to educate the community about these plans and make sure Billings citizens don’t bear the costs of increased train traffic.

Read more about Heavy Traffic Still Ahead>>

               Read more about the Tongue River Railroad>>

In the News:

“Many Voice Their Opposition to Tongue River Railroad” in Billings Gazette

  • Sustainability: We want to make our community more livable through smart growth that emphasizes infill development, enables sustainable transportation, and accentuates our sense of place by highlighting the Rims and the River. YVCC members aspire to build sustainable food and energy systems in Yellowstone County, and by doing so, create shared prosperity over the long term. Join us if you share the vision!

Corette vision handout.

In the News:
Creativity Flows at Meeting about Future of Power Plant

Community Discussed Land Use for Former Corette Site

Billings Public Library’s LEED Platinum certification a win for YVCC!>>


  • Membership Team: YVCC is an active group of over 280 members, and we believe you can have fun while working together for social change! Our Membership Team helps plan social events, develop YVCC’s brand, and promote us throughout the community.


Please visit our events calendar for all Northern Plains and local groups (affiliates) events and meetings.

History and Campaign Wins

Since its inception in 1979 around air-quality issues, YVCC has achieved many victories, including:

  • Helping to dramatically improve the air quality in Yellowstone County through a long-term campaign to improve the enforcement of air quality laws;
  • Increasing individual and institutional patronage of locally raised and processed food through our community food campaign;
  • Helping to ensure that Billings’ new library is a LEED Platinum certified, water- and energy-efficient building by engaging citizens and community leaders to build public support while participating in every step of the city’s decision-making process.
  • Supported the efforts of teachers and parents to start school gardens at Canyon Creek School, Blue Creek School, and Billings West High School;
  • Recruited businesses to sponsor recycling pick-up in more than 20 Billings public elementary schools;
  • Supported our friends and neighbors to hold off oil and gas development along the Beartooth Front and in Yellowstone County;
  • Built support for a full-time neighborhood planner to coordinate “smart growth” planning in our community;
  • Successfully challenged efforts to site hazardous waste facilities near the Yellowstone River.


To highlight the growing number of LEED buildings in Billings, YVCC created this “Guide to Green Buildings in Billings” which features a map of LEED-certified buildings. Did you know there are thirteen LEED-certified buildings in Billings, including 6 that are LEED Platinum? Use the map to do your own walking tour! Hard copies are available at Home on the Range, as well as many of the featured businesses.

220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154