Yellowstone Headwaters

PCEC has long been a strong advocate for Park County’s water resources. The Yellowstone Headwaters Program works to ensure that the river and its many tributaries remain a sustainable resource for generations to come.

The health of the river’s ecosystem and the health of the local community are inextricably linked and the water that flows through Park County is our most valuable resource. PCEC is committed to water resource conservation and stewardship in Park County. From education and outreach expanding the awareness of the intricate function of our watershed, to continually working to prevent serious threats to our water quality from industrial development, either from hard rock mining that would create acid mine drainage, or unnecessary oil and gas development on the banks of the Yellowstone River.

The more we learn we learn about this watershed we live in the better equipped we will be to take care of the resource and head off future threats. The goals of the program are to raise awareness of water conservation issues in Park County and to work with landowners, conservation groups, and state and federal agencies to create on the ground water conservation strategies that will maintain and build resiliency in the ecosystem in the face of threats from climate change and development. We all need to invest in the Yellowstone River and a community based partnership is essential in this effort and the long-term health of the resource.

Born out of the 2017 Yellowstone River Symposium, which addressed the social, ecological and economic impacts resulting from the 2016 fish kill and river closure, the very dialog that was absent at that time began, and ultimately synthesized within the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group, overseen by the Park County Conservation District. PCEC is also working with partners on RiverNet, a program whose goal is to use the best science and computer technology to provide quality data and analysis to the public and engage them in the process of understanding and managing this valuable watershed. RiverNet is expanding the quantity, quality, and usability of water quality gauges, by involving the private sector, local communities, technology companies and scientists.