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Thursday, Oct. 5th, 2017

Bozeman’s Choice Reader Poll: Put Your Stamp of Approval on All Things Bozeman

October 1-31 marks our 3rd annual Bozeman’s Choice Reader poll where we ask you to tell us what you like and don’t like about all things Bozeman. From your favorite places to eat, your favorite bands in the area, your favorite spots and hiking trails, rivers for recreating, local celebrities, and ideas for the future, there is no shortage of people, places and things to weigh in on.

Our Reader Poll is massive with over 200 questions for you to vote on! The poll is 100% online; sign in (or create an account if this is your first time voting) and begin looking at all of the options for Bozeman’s Choice. ALL of the Bozeman’s Choice content is reader added, meaning readers who are signed in have and can add any option to each question. If you believe your Real Estate Agent is the greatest, add his or her name to the Bozeman’s Choice Real Estate Agent question and share it so others can vote for that person as well. Don’t see your favorite breakfast spot on the list? Add it!

Bozeman’s Choice truly celebrates all of what makes Bozeman so great (and some of what doesn’t), and it’s all you, the readers and voters, who add your answers to our questions, and fill the poll with what you like and don’t like. You make it unique. 

Many local businesses and individuals will be vying for a three-peat as Bozeman’s Choice winners, and many new and emerging businesses will be seeking your vote and stamp of approval. For each Choice you can vote for as many options as you would like; you just can’t vote for the same Choice more than once. If you can’t pick just one spot you love for lunch, pick them all, spread the love.

A key to becoming or staying Bozeman’s Choice is sharing the poll and asking for votes. It’s as easy as asking friends if they’ve voted before the end of the month, sharing the poll on your Facebook page, making an Instagram post, or sending a tweet

Thanks in advance for putting your stamp of approval on Bozeman’s Choice! Our January issue will reveal all of the results, listing first, second and third place winners for each question. We will reach out to the winners as soon as possible once the results are compiled, but ask that winners don’t reveal the results until January.
Thank you for reading Bozeman Magazine and sharing your votes with us!

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Thursday, Sep. 28th, 2017

Universal Athletic will be hosting a Montana Football Hall of Fame unveiling event on October 6th

Universal Athletic is proud to announce that the company’s Bozeman retail store will be the permanent home of the Montana Football Hall of Fame. Universal Athletic will be hosting a Montana Football Hall of Fame unveiling event on October 6th.
The unveiling event will be from 7pm-8pm at Universal Athletic in Bozeman (912 N 7th Ave) and is open to the public. The event will include speeches from representatives for Universal Athletic and the Montana Football Hall of Fame, door prizes, and the unveiling of the hall of fame wall. Select Montana Football Hall of Fame past and future inductees will be present at the event, and the 2018 inductees will be announced during the event.

The Montana Football Hall of Fame was founded in 2016 by Big Huddle to “honor all of the great accomplishments of past players, coaches and contributors that have helped support the game we all love from across the state,” explains Rick Halmes, Chairman of Big Huddle.
Universal Athletic has been in the Montana Sporting Goods industry since 1971, supplying schools and teams with athletic gear and apparel, and operating retail stores across the state. Greg Miller, President of Universal Athletic, stated that “our partnership with the Montana Football Hall of Fame just makes sense. Universal Athletic is a huge supporter of athletics in Montana and we are very proud to be a part of honoring some of the greatest athletes to come out of the state.”

Universal Athletic would like to invite the public to attend the event, as well as media from across the state.

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Wednesday, Sep. 27th, 2017

MSU celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day with week of activities, Oct. 9-13

Montana State University will commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day 2017 with a weeklong series of educational and cultural events Oct. 9-13. All events are free and open to the public.
MSU President Waded Cruzado will open the week’s events with her participation in a traditional round dance at noon Monday, Oct. 9, on the Centennial Mall, south of Montana Hall.
At 6 p.m. Walter Fleming, head of the MSU Native American Studies Department, will make a presentation about Indigenous Peoples Day to the Bozeman City Commission meeting at City Hall, 121 N. Rouse Ave. Fleming will introduce several local Native American artists whose work will be on display beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the MSU Strand Union Building hallway near the Ask Us Desk. The artists include Ben Pease, Alisha Fisher, Casey Figueroa, Carlin Bear Don’t Walk and John Pepion.

A free chili feed for the community in celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Christus Collegium, 714 S. Eighth Ave. Kyle Alderman and the band NC Rez Hounds will entertain.
An opening for the art exhibit in the SUB will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 10. Indigenous foods and refreshments will be served.
Isabell Hawkins, an astrophysicist who is project director of the Exploratorium in San Francisco will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Room 339 of Leon Johnson Hall.  A native of Argentina, Hawkins’ work focuses on broadening access to astronomy and enhancing participation by all communities through the appreciation of the cultural roots of science. She has received eight NASA awards for her work on NASA education and public outreach.

The film “100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice,” about the late Elouise Cobell, will be screened at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies. The screening is free and open to the public. Cobell was a Pikuni (Blackfeet) woman who attended MSU and received an honorary doctorate from MSU. Cobell was the lead plaintiff in the groundbreaking class-action suit, Cobell v. Salazar. The suit challenged the U.S. government’s misallocation of Native American land trust funds to nearly a half-million Native Americans. After a 13-year legal battle, the government approved a $3.4 billion settlement for the trust case in 2010. Cobell died a year after the settlement. A panel discussion will follow the film.

Andrea Carmen, director of the International Indian Treaty Council in San Francisco and an expert presenter at the United Nations, will speak at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Room 101 of Gaines Hall.
Later in October, Cinnamon Spear of Lame Deer will show her documentary, “Pride and Basketball,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture as part of the Indigenous Peoples Days events.
Marsha Small, instructor in the MSU Department of Native American Studies and an organizer of this year’s events, said that Indigenous Peoples Day is an alternative to Columbus Day both locally and on campus. She said she is a member of a group working to have the Montana Legislature officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day as a replacement for Columbus Day in Montana.

“We need to inform others regionally and nationally,” Small said. “We need to communicate it worldwide. The best way to do this is to bring in speakers that work on regional, national and global levels. Isabel Hawkins and Andrea Carmen both work on all these platforms.”
For more information about MSU’s celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day, contact Small at 541-868-7000 or Francesca Rodriguez at 406-994-3881.

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Bozeman's Iconic Rialto Theatre to Reopen January 2018

L-R: Renderings of the Rialto exterior and interior 

Renovations to the historic Rialto theater in the heart of downtown Bozeman are well under way. The venue is scheduled to open in January 2018, hosting an exciting lineup of top-tier talent from around the country.

Originally built in 1908 as a two-story storefront and converted into a theater in 1924, the Rialto has a long history of serving Main Street in Bozeman’s central commercial district, although it has been vacant for more than a decade. Bozeman’s ThinkTank Design Group, along with general contractor North Fork Builders, is refashioning the vacant theater to set the stage as an artistic and cultural hub. Honoring the Rialto’s historical relevance, iconic features will be replicated, such as the art deco–style marquee and signage at the front of the building, designed by local artist and metal sculptor Erik “Ole” Nelson of Media Station.

This major reconstruction project demonstrates ThinkTank’s ongoing commitment to Bozeman and the community. “We are excited to revive an underutilized remnant of our history that brings culture and inspiration to the city,” said Brian Caldwell, project architect at ThinkTank. “It’s an iconic theater that will become a modern and creative outlet for local and traveling artists, with an entirely new design that reflects the imaginative spirit of Bozeman.”

The reinvented venue will include a ground-floor theater called the Black Box, which will accommodate up to 400 people and feature a mezzanine level, offering a variety of options for artists, live performances and private events. The theater acoustics and sound system were designed by the award-winning consulting firm Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc. Theater programming will range from some of the country’s most sought-after bands to local musicians, spoken-word performances, movie nights and more.

The second floor will house the Burn Box, a stylish space overlooking Main Street that will serve wine, beer and a rotating menu from local chefs and food artisans, crafted around the entertainment style. The Burn Box will welcome in ticket holders and the general public for a drink and bite on days of scheduled programming. Adjacent to the Burn Box will be the Light Box, a gallery that will showcase work from local artists, host special events for the community and serve as an additional space for private events for 15 to 150 people.

“We are creating a vibrant, one-of-a-kind hub where people can experience Bozeman’s evolving culture,” said Productions and Operations Manager Drew Fleming.

“The Rialto will attract exceptional and unique acts, artists and audiences, becoming a place where artistry truly thrives.”

The theater plans to reopen with an all-ages show on January 16, 2018, by indie rock band Hippo Campus, and the Victor Wooten Trio will take the stage on January 17. The following weekend, on January 26, Car Seat Headrest will make its debut at the Rialto, followed by musician and comedian Reggie Watts on January 27. For more information and a complete list of upcoming programming, visit

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Montana Shakespeare in the Schools to tour Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’

Montana Shakespeare in the Schools enters its 25th season in 2017 with a tour of “Twelfth Night” to regional middle and high schools. Several public performances will also be offered.
MSIS will perform the comedy to nearly 12,000 students in communities throughout Montana and Wyoming as a part of its annual fall tour, which begins Oct. 6.
The 10-week tour is the first of two educational outreach programs offered during the academic year by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, which is based at Montana State University. The fall tour will conclude in mid-December. Montana Shakes!, a tour designed specifically for elementary school children, will tour from late February to mid-May

To accommodate schools’ scheduling needs, productions are trimmed to 80 minutes. Tailor-made workshops that relate back to the play accompany the production.
Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director of Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, said the goal of the troupe is to bring live, professional performances of Shakespeare’s plays to middle and high schools across Montana and Wyoming, emphasizing rural, underserved areas.
“Shakespeare in the Schools is one of the only programs in the country to reach as extensively into rural areas, bringing Shakespeare the way it was meant to be experienced, in a live performance,” Asselin said.
Chicago-based Marti Lyons will direct the production. Lyons has directed for Actors Theatre of Louisville, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Writers’ Theatre, among others.
“’Twelfth Night’ is a comedy, but a comedy that bursts forth from a deep sadness,” Lyons said. “In this world, like in our world, love and joy can grow in the midst of sorrow and longing.”
The professional eight-member cast who make up the touring company have been chosen from national auditions. They will rehearse for three weeks in Bozeman before presenting the play to 49 middle and high schools in Montana and Wyoming.
Montana Shakespeare in the Schools began in 1993 with two professional actors performing scenes from Shakespeare’s plays with minimal costumes and scenery. It has grown to include an eight-member professional company that offers a full Shakespearean production complete with rich, originally designed costumes and scenery, as well as a talk back session and a full complement of workshops.

Special performances, open to the public, will be held in Buffalo, Wyoming; Fishtail; Dillon; and Bozeman. For more information on these performances, visit Montana Shakespeare in the Schools’ website.
Shakespeare in the School's 16th annual Elise Event, a fundraiser named in honor of the late Elise Donohue, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at MSU’s Black Box Theater, located on the corner of 11th and Grant Street on the MSU campus in Bozeman. The event will include a performance of “Twelfth Night.”

Montana Shakespeare in the Schools is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities. Additional support comes from the Montana Arts Council: Artists in Schools and Communities and Montana Cultural Trust; the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation; the Sidney E. Frank Foundation; the First Interstate Bank Foundation; the First Security Bank Foundation; and the Applied Materials Foundation, along with generous individual donors.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of The MSU College of Arts and Architecture.
For more information about Shakespeare in the Schools, visit the website at or call 406-994-3303.
Shakespeare in the Schools 2016 tour – “Twelfth Night”
Oct. 6 – Anderson School, Bozeman
Oct. 9 – Plentywood High School, Plentywood
Oct. 10 – Medicine Lake High School, Medicine Lake
Oct. 11 – Bainville High, Bainville
Oct. 12 – Sidney High School, Sidney
Oct. 13 – Pine Hills Correctional Academy, Miles City
Oct. 16 – Worland High, Worland, Wyo.
Oct. 17 – Cody High, Cody, Wyo.
Oct. 18 – Powell High, Powell, Wyo.
Oct. 19 – Meeteetse High School, Meeteetse, Wyo.
Oct. 20 – Arts Roundup, Big Timber
Oct. 23 – Sweet Grass County High School, Big Timber
Oct. 24 – Buffalo  High School, Buffalo, Wyo.
Oct. 24 – Buffalo  High School, Buffalo, Wyo. – public performance
Oct. 25 – Sheridan High School, Sheridan, Wyo.
Oct. 26 – Lame Deer High School, Lame Deer
Oct. 27 –Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail – public performance
Oct. 30 – East Valley Middle School, East Helena
Oct. 31 – Capital HS, Helena
Nov. 1 – Helena High School, Helena
Nov. 2 – Townsend Middle School, Townsend
Nov. 3 – Belgrade  High School, Belgrade
Nov. 6 – Hardin High School, Hardin
Nov. 7 – Roundup High School, Roundup
Nov. 8 – Sheridan High School , Sheridan, Mont.
Nov. 8 – University of Montana Western, Dillon – public performance
Nov. 9 – University of Montana Western, Dillon
Nov. 10 – Gallatin County Homeschool Group, Bozeman
Nov. 13 – Plains High School, Plains
Nov. 14 – West Valley Middle School, Kalispell
Nov. 15 – Kalispell Middle School, Kalispell
Nov. 16 – Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
Nov. 17 – Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
Nov. 18 – The Ellen Theater, Bozeman – public performance
Nov. 20 – Polson High School, Polson
Nov. 21 – Petra Academy, Bozeman
Nov. 22 – Shields Valley High School, Clyde Park
Nov. 27 – Belt High School, Belt
Nov. 28 – Power School, Power
Nov. 29 – Simms High School, Simms
Nov. 30 – Ronan High School, Ronan
Dec. 1 – Florence-Carlton High School, Florence
Dec. 4 – Frenchtown High School, Frenchtown
Dec. 5 – Alberton High School, Alberton
Dec. 6 – Loyola/St. Joes High School, Missoula
Dec. 7 – Ennis High School, Ennis
Dec. 8 – Lone Peak High School, Big Sky
Dec. 11 – Corvallis High School, Corvallis
Dec. 12 – Sentinel High School, Missoula
Dec. 13 – Whitehall High School, Whitehall
Dec. 14 – Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman
Dec. 15 – Manhattan High School, Manhattan

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MSU students study atmospheric effects of the eclipse

When Montana State University students watched a wall of darkness rush across the central Wyoming prairie at supersonic speed, then wash over them and bring a sudden chill to the summer day, they couldn’t contain their awe.
“We were all going crazy,” said Jaxen Godfrey, who was one of five MSU students on a Montana Space Grant Consortium team that included students from University of Montana, Chief Dull Knife College and Miles Community College.
Their experience of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse lasted only about two minutes. But the bulk of their research has just begun.
“We have all this data to go through,” said Godfrey, a sophomore majoring in physics in the Department of Physics in MSU’s College of Letters and Science.
To study how the atmosphere responded to the sudden, midday darkness brought on by the eclipse, the team launched 19 helium-filled balloons. Each carried a small device called a radiosonde, which measured temperature, pressure and humidity as the balloons ascended to altitudes of 80,000 feet or more.

Total solar eclipses do unusual things to air and clouds, but the effects in the upper atmosphere aren’t well documented or explained, according to Jennifer Fowler, Montana Space Grant Consortium’s assistant director. For instance, the celestial phenomenon is thought to change atmospheric waves that affect everything from wildfire behavior to wind turbine performance.

“They’re like waves on water,” Fowler said. “There’s a theory that says that these waves are generated by the eclipse itself ... but nobody had measured them during an eclipse. That’s exactly what we decided to try and do.”
The experiment was part of a larger effort called the Eclipse Ballooning Project, which MSU-based Montana Space Grant Consortium started in 2014. The project’s main activity - involving 55 teams from across the country - was livestreaming high-altitude video of the moon’s shadow crossing the Earth using camera-equipped balloons. Fowler proposed the radiosonde experiment as a way for the project to address a significant scientific question.

Some of the 55 livestream teams launched radiosonde balloons, and Fowler helped recruit an additional 12 teams. In total, the teams launched 40 radiosondes, from locations that included the Oregon coast and St. Louis.
During the eclipse, Fowler was in Wyoming with the Montana team. For two days, starting on Aug. 20, the team launched a radiosonde every six hours from a site near Fort Laramie to record the atmospheric conditions before, during and after the eclipse.
During the roughly two-hour period when the moon crossed the sun, the team launched radiosondes at 20-minute intervals from Fort Laramie - which was positioned along the center-line of the eclipse’s path - as well as at two sites near the edges of the roughly 70-mile-wide moon shadow.
The students did all the work, Fowler said. She “got to sit back and enjoy the show.”
Godfrey, who was participating in the project as a summer intern with Montana Space Grant Consortium, was at the Fort Laramie site. She and a handful of other students filled the 4-foot-diameter latex balloons with helium, calibrated the radiosondes with a laptop, then downloaded the data with a handheld radio unit as the balloons took flight.

Godfrey will use their data, along with that gathered by other teams, to study how the lowest 10,000 feet of the atmosphere - called the planetary boundary layer - responded to the eclipse.
“I feel lucky to be part of something so big that happened across the country,” she said.
Ian Fleming, a sophomore physics major from Petersburg, Alaska, also helped launch the radiosondes from Fort Laramie. He will compare the data to predictions from computer models, which could help improve the models.
Currently, “simulating winds is tricky at best,” he said.
The data are also being made available to other researchers, Fowler said.
“This was great, real-world, hands-on training for students,” she said. “When they know that someone is going to use their data, they are much more engaged.”
The team launched five other balloons equipped with the livestream system and other cameras, including a 360-degree camera system designed by the students at Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer.
Forrest Oldman, a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe and a freshman at Chief Dull Knife College, helped download the video livestream and relay it to NASA’s website.
“It was kind of out of my comfort zone,” he said. “That’s why I did it.”

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Dinner’s On the Co-op at the Community Café

The Community Food Co-op invites you to dine at the Community Café on Monday, October 2 from 5-8 pm, where Co-op Guest Chef Kelly Walunis will prepare a special Indian inspired menu featuring local Montana ingredients to help generate revenue for the Community Café.
The menu will feature pork from locally-raised hogs purchased by the Co-op at the Junior Livestock Market Sale. The hogs were raised by Lane and Sage Smart and Samantha Draeger. Two of the hogs came from the Smart boys, who raised their animals without feed-grade antibiotics or growth hormones. The hogs had regular walks, a cozy shelter and a big mud bath. Earning from the sale will go towards their college savings.

The Co-op is proud to partner on this event with Pioneer Meats of Big Timber, who graciously processed the animals free of charge. The hogs yielded over 300 pounds of meat. Whatever is not used during the dinner will be donated to the Community Cafe for future meals.
Proceeds from the event will go directly to the Community Café, Bozeman’s only pay-what-you-can restaurant. This will be the second year in a row the Co-op and Pioneer Meats have partnered to serve a meal at the Community Café. Last year, the event helped generate over $4,000.
“The Café welcomes everyone from the community to enjoy a delicious, locally sourced dinner,” says Chelsea Eddy, Front of House Manager for the Community Café. “What makes it special is the unique payment model that provides an affordable and accessible meal for everyone.”
“As a community owned business, giving back is vitally important to us,” explains Alison Germain, the Co-op Marketing and Membership Manager. “It’s something we’ve always done, to the tune of about $60,000 a year.”

The Community Cafe is located at 302 North 7th Avenue in Bozeman. For those who can’t attend the Co-op’s Guest Chef event at the Community Cafe, donations can be made online, with the goal to raise $1,500 by October 2.


The Community Cafe is part of the HRDC’s Emergency Food and Nutrition Initiative, working to improve food security in Southwest Montana. The Café was founded when an increase in families needing emergency food boxes was observed at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. The HRDC was established in 1975 and serves Gallatin, Park, and Meagher Counties in southwest Montana.  HRDC is a non-profit community action agency, dedicated to strengthening community and advancing the quality of people’s lives. 

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Tuesday, Sep. 26th, 2017

GVLT and Leep Family Conserve 321 Acres of Agricultural Open Space

The Gallatin Valley Land Trust and the Leep family have finalized a conservation easement on 321 acres of open land in the Amsterdam/ Churchill area west of Bozeman.  This is the third conservation easement GVLT has completed with the Leep family, limiting the division and development on the land in perpetuity. This conservation easement will ensure the Leep family’s highly developable land remains viable for agriculture and will protect the scenic views and wildlife habitat that open land offers in our rapidly growing Gallatin Valley.

The Leep family has been farming in the Gallatin Valley since the 1920’s.  Sherwin and Greg Leep grow wheat and alfalfa hay with three of their adult sons. The property is situated in a quickly growing area in an un-zoned part of the county, less than four miles from Four Corners and less than 5 miles from Belgrade.  While the property sits near a growing community, it is also an important puzzle piece in a larger conservation effort, stitching together four other GVLT conserved properties creating a block of 2,000 conserved acres in agricultural production. While the property could easily hold hundreds of homes, Sherwin Leep believes the land’s best and most productive use is agriculture. “It is special. I would say that this is some of the best farmland in the valley. It is located beautifully. It is close to the Gallatin River corridor so there are some wildlife components to it. There are a lot of compelling reasons that this ground should never grow houses. It should stay in agriculture.” The Natural Resource Conservation Service agrees; they designated the property as having 100% agriculturally significant soils, 96% of which were considered prime soils for farming.

The Leep family is committed to farming in this area. They’ve used the funds from the purchase of conservation easements to reinvest in more agricultural land in the area. This conservation easement was funded in part by the Gallatin County Open Lands Program and the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  These local and federal dollars make a conservation easement, which reduces the value of the land significantly, a viable financial option for farming families like the Leep family. It allows them to continue their legacy of farming while protecting the wide open spaces of our Montana landscape.

As Belgrade and Four Corners grow west, many farmers in the Amsterdam and Churchill area are using voluntary conservation easements in partnership with GVLT to protect large blocks of land, ensuring viability for traditional family farming operations far into the future. Landowners, GVLT, and taxpayer funded Gallatin County Open Lands Program are making a strategic effort to keep certain parts of our valley from being fragmented into small parcels as the area experiences unprecedented growth. This fragmentation makes it much harder to farm, both logistically and economically, and reduces the wildlife habitat and scenic quality of the entire landscape. Taxpayers have invested $20 million in the Gallatin County Open Lands Program since 2001 and have succeeded in protecting 50,000 acres on over 50 properties concentrated in strategic areas of highly developable open land in the valley.  Taxpayers have also successfully leveraged federal and private dollars to match their local investment at a rate of 5 to 1. The Leep family’s 321 acres is an exciting and important addition to a growing list of nearby projects, within 5 miles of 14 other Open Lands Program funded projects. With the last remaining dollars in the Open Lands Program allocated and development showing no signs of slowing, GVLT, partners, and landowners like Sherwin Leep are aware that time is of the essence and we must try now to reinvest in our valley’s future.  “I think it is really important that some of these properties are conserved now because this is the time. We better do it now because they won’t be here 50 years from now. It’s important.”

What is a conservation easement? The Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) partners with private landowners to conserve working farms and ranches, fish and wildlife habitat, open lands and scenic views.  To protect these special places, GVLT uses conservation easements, which are voluntary agreements with landowners that limit development on a property while keeping it in private ownership.  Each easement is tailored to the specific property and runs with the title of the land in perpetuity. GVLT is responsible for upholding the easement’s terms.  Because a conservation easement limits development rights and therefore decreases the value of the land, landowners may be eligible to write off the difference as a charitable donation. In some cases, landowners receive financial compensation for a portion of the value of the conservation easement.  The public benefits from the protection of conservation values such as prime agricultural soils, wildlife habitat, river corridors and the overall character of our region.

About Gallatin Valley Land Trust
Gallatin Valley Land Trust connects people, communities, and open lands through conservation of working farms and ranches, healthy rivers, and wildlife habitat, and the creation of trails in the Montana headwaters of the Missouri and Upper Yellowstone Rivers. For more information, visit

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Friday, Sep. 22nd, 2017

Copper City Trails Opening - National Public Lands Day

Come celebrate phase one of the Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association’s (SWMMBA) Copper City Trails project on September 30, 2017, National Public Lands Day. Join SWMMBA, REI and the Montana Conservation Corps for a day of trail work, children’s activities, a BBQ lunch, and the opening of the first segment of trail at Copper City, near Three Forks. Trail work begins at 9am, lunch is at 12pm, and the trail opening / first ride is at 1pm.

After years of hard work and planning, this exciting new trail project on public Bureau of Land Management land will open phase one to the public after a morning of community volunteer trail work, an accomplishment worth celebrating!

REI, SWMMBA, and other sponsors will provide a BBQ lunch and non-alcoholic beverages for volunteers. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to ride the first section of completed trail and preview the next phase of this community-centered project.

SWMMBA will have limited-edition Copper City hats and t-shirts for sale to raise funds for the next phases of trail construction. Visit or our Facebook page for more information.


Copper City Trails, Copper City Road, off of US 187, north of exit 274 from I-90. Look for Copper City Road just north of the horse sculptures. It is on the right (east), right where the four-lane passing zone merges back to two lanes.

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Thursday, Sep. 21st, 2017

Colt James Ranches Introduces “Chop Sticks” to the West

Colt James Ranches has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the world’s first gourmet Wagyu beef stick. An idea born out of the belief that the fine flavors of Wagyu shouldn’t be limited to the dinner table, these grab-and-go beef sticks offer a high protein snack that packs a punch when it comes to both flavor and quality; Colt James Ranches refuses to compromise one for the other.

That’s because Colt James Ranches believes in the best. Best methods, best cattle, and ultimately best taste. This small batch operation offers a new take on something old, calling upon sustainable practices to create a high-quality, one-of-a-kind product.

Colt James Ranches distinguishes itself from other Wagyu ranches by employing a holistic management approach that paves the way for a brighter, more socially responsible future for ranching and cattle rearing. Their innovate approach provides a product that leaves no unanswered questions about source, content, or quality. This gifts consumers a simple, straightforward ingredient list and full transparency about where their food is coming from. The end product is a beef stick that is nutritious, distinct, and delectable, and that underscores the importance of connecting land and food.

For Colt James Ranches, achieving that robust Montana flavor that defines their product begins with the methods. As a 5th generation Montana rancher, founder Colter DeVries is no stranger to the ways of ranching. He is carving out a niche for himself in a state dominated by ranching by taking a new approach that focuses on sustainability and ethicality, striking a perfect balance between what’s best for his cattle and what’s best for his consumers.

With Chop Sticks, Colt James Ranches certainly seems to have found what’s best. There are plenty of beef sticks on the market. Chop Sticks distinguishes itself as a cut above the rest by pairing better-than-USDA Prime Wagyu beef with fresh herbs and spices that deliver the taste of the West you’d only expect from the finest cut of meat. Available in three different flavors and packed with 7 grams of protein and essential fatty acids, this product is designed not only to please, but to nourish.

Colt James Ranches’ Chop Sticks are available to order on their Kickstarter page now.

For more information about Colt James Ranches, please visit

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