Gallatin Wildlife Association



Photo taken during winter day trip to Yellowstone NP by Clint Nagel. Bison on Blacktail Deer Plateau dated 20190102.

About Us:


GWA's Introduction Video: 


Welcome to the Gallatin Wildlife Association!


September 19, 2020


Hope you enjoy our first ever video, as far as I know anyway. Hard to believe, but we're trying to make it into the 21st Century! We are a wildlife advocacy organization that has been around since 1976 - believe it or not. We've been on the forefront of many pushes to protect wildlife habitat, even those efforts promoting the full protection of the Gallatin Range as wilderness - realizing of course that wilderness means the protection of wildlife habitat.


We are a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) that tries to be a voice for wildlife. If wildlife could speak, what would they say? Those may sound like simplistic terms, thoughts and ideas, perhaps to idealistic, but we are a small and active group who uses science and the law in our battle for their right to exist. Those are not simplistic ideas. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a purpose. That is the reason we exist, not for us but to be a voice for the voiceless.


Please consider our organization if you have those concerns as well. The cause is great and just.


Clinton Nagel, President

Gallatin Wildlife Association



Our Mission Statement:


"Gallatin Wildlife Association (GWA) is a local, all volunteer wildlife conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of wildlife, fisheries, habitat and migration corridors in Southwest Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, using science-based decision making. We are a non-profit 501-c (3) organization founded in 1976. GWA recognizes the intense pressures on our wildlife from habitat loss and climate change, and we advocate for science-based management of public lands for diverse public values, including but not limited to hunting and angling."


Our efforts benefit the community by focusing on wildlife issues through emails, newsletters and outreach events. GWA regularly meets with other wildlife organizations and NGOs on wildlife issues and with our Congressional Delegation to inform and comment.


Please consider working with Gallatin Wildlife Association by joining the organization or providing your email so wildlife issues and volunteer opportunities can be easily communicated.


Who We Are:




President: Clint Nagel - graduated from Southern Oregon College in Ashland, Oregon in 1974 with B.S. Degree in Biology. He began his federal service with the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division in Buffalo, Wyoming in 1978. Early on, his service consisted of work overseeing a variety of surface-water monitoring programs. But as opportunities changed, a majority of that time also included water quality and sediment programs associated with the National Stream Quality Accounting Network as well with several statewide Ambient water-quality monitoring networks. Several years were also spent in the ground water discipline. The last several years of his career included more management aspects as he became supervisor over the Hydrologic Surveillance section in the Kansas City, Missouri Subdistrict Office and the Sacramento, California Field Office.


He officially retired in 2009 while in Sacramento, CA. He volunteered part of his time back to the agency for a 3-month period before he once again worked on a part-time basis for an additional year and a half. After that he drew his career to a close and his wife and he relocated to Bozeman, MT. Now they spend their time volunteering and being on boards for various groups and organizations within the Bozeman community. Currently he sits on the board of the Gallatin Wildlife Association, Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Alliance, plus past President of the local chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. He is active within many environmental groups in the Bozeman area and writes letters on behalf of many causes.


Vice President: Vacant - 


Secretary and Treasurer: Nancy Shultz - Nancy lives in Bozeman, and enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, cross country skiing and watching wildlife.


 Other Board Members:



Joe Gutkoski was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the Navy in WWII where he served on the Destroyer Lansdowne. He graduated from Penn State University with a BS degree in Landscape Architecture. He began work with the U.S. Forest Service in the ate 1940s as a fire fighter in Idaho. He transferred to Missoula, He transferred to Missoula, MT, where for 13 years he worked as a smoke jumper, squad leader and foreman, fighting fire throughout the West. Joe transferred as a Landscape Architect to the Forest Service Regional Lands Office, doing planning and design work in MT, ID, eastern WA, North and South Dakota, MN and Alaska. In 1964, he was assigned to the Gallatin National Forest in Bozeman. Joe retired from the USFS in 1982 with 32 years of service.


He then started a licensed practice in land planning and design in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Joe is a life-long environmentalist and defender of public lands. He was President and founding member of Montana Rivers and Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation. He was President, Secretary and Grievance Officer of Local 130 National Federation of Federal Emloyees Union. Joe has served as President of the Gallatin Wildlife Association, member of Montanans for Gallatin Wilderness, and Vice President of Montana Wildlife Federation where he served on the Board of Directors for many years. Joe was President and Secretary of Madison Gallatin Alliance, a chapter of Montana Wilderness Association. He was also Vice President of the Big Open Project in northeast Montana. He was Vice President and Secretary of Montana/Idaho Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects, and lastly, Chairman of Bozemans Schools, Parks and Recreation Planning Committee.



Jim Bailey - Retired. Former biologist, Illinois Natural History Survey, New Mexico Game & Fish Department, Professor of wildlife management, Colorado State University. 


Nancy Ostlie. 


Glenn Monahan.


Don Thelen - He and his family were avid horsemen, hikers, fishermen and hunters.  From 1978 to 1984 Don attended MSU and received a BS and MS in electrical engineering.  Don paid for college by fighting forest fires in the summers.  His career took him to Pocatello Idaho, Pullman Washington and Albuquerque New Mexico.  In 1995 he moved his family back to Bozeman so his children could grow up close to their grandmothers and other relatives, and to immerse them the wonderful lifestyle of recreating in the great outdoors when your work is done.   Don defended his dissertation and received a PhD in electrical engineering in 1996.  He retired from ON Semiconductor in 2020.  Don has volunteered as the president of a neighborhood association, the president of the Montana Chapter of the IEEE, and 18 years on the technical program committee of the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference where he moved up to Conference Chairman.  Hunting has been a hobby (possibly an obsession at times) since the age of 13.  Other hobbies include Nordic skate skiing, Alpine skiing, mountain biking, fishing (usually while backpacking), rock climbing, canyoneering, hiking and house remodeling (might as well call it a hobby if so much time is spent doing it).  


Science Advisory Board:


Bob Crabtree: Bob is an animal ecologist who has dedicated the last 32 years to understanding the living systems of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He is currently the Chief Scientist and Cofounder of the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center (YERC). A field ecologist at heart, he was fascinated with bird communities and the process of predation since a teenager. He first worked on a great-horned owl study as a high school student and published his first paper as an undergraduate at the University of Idaho on competition between two species of flycatchers. After two positions working for state and game agencies, he studied skunk, weasel, and fox preadation on waterfowl nests at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah for his MS degree. He then worked for Battelle PNL and lead the first study of an unexploited coyote population at the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve in Washington for his PhD.  


After a post-doc at UC-Berkeley on animal movement modeling, he was awarded two grants (1) building a structured population model for Yellowstone wolves as part of the EIS process, and (2)initiated the 20-year Canid Ecology Project (CEP). In 1993, he founded the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center (YERC) based on: (1) long-term research and monitoring, (2) large-scale landscape ecology, and (3) collaborative partnerships. Learning from large-scale natural and policy experiments, he is developing an adaptive Ecological Forecasting program to drive adaptive decision-making to sustain healthy systems and viable fish and wildlife populations. He also started a career track as landscape ecologist to use remote sensing fusion and data assimilation modeling to understand the cause and consequence of populations responding to habitat and climate change over large landscapes. He continues to strive to translate the results of ecological research into informed decision-making and on-the-ground conservation action. Bob continues to mentor field interns, employees, graduate students and posts-docs at YERC's geospatial dynamics lab in Bozeman, Montana.


Lance Craighead:


George Wuerthner:


Jim Bailey: Retired. Former biologist, Illinois Natural History Survey, New Mexico Game and Fish Department, Professor of Wildlife Management, Colorado State University.


Our Work in 2020!


1. Signed on to comments along with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter, and Western Watersheds Project concerning the Wyoming Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan draft proposal sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.


2. Signed on to comments along with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter to Wyoming Game and Fish Department urging them to phase out elk feeding grounds in northwestern Wyoming. 


3. Provided Amicus Brief on behalf of GWA against the proposed timber sale as part of the North Bridger Forest Health Project.


4. Sent letters to and visited the offices of Senator Daines and Tester urging them to reconsider the public land give-away of the National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana. This National Wildlife Refuge is being transferred into the dead of night to tribal lands of the CSKT. GWA is against this sale as we believe it sets bad precedent not to mention the loss of public bison, the science and the infrastructure that has been bought and paid for by the U.S. Government. Submitted Op-Ed letter to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper on the subject to try and inform the public.


5. Heavily involved and completed in the sponsoring of the 6th annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival.


6. Submitted comments on NEPA changes as proposed by the Trump Adminstration.


7. GWA along with Montana Rivers and Cottonwood Environmental Law Firm filed a complaint in District Court against the Department of Environmental Quality to protect the Gallatin River from unwanted pollution from proposed discharge of treated waste water from the Big Sky community.


8.Have agreed with several other NGO(s) to bring suit against the Forest Service to curtail the bad precedent of the elk feeding grounds in Wyoming. Action soon to be coming.


9. Written comments on the Montana's Climate Solution Plan as drafted by the Climate Solution Council originated by Governor Steve Bullock.


10. Submitted comments on BLM's effort to weaken grazing regulations on public land. 


11. GWA originated a sign-on letter addressed to the U.S. Forest Service (Regional Offices) to not participate with the state of Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game to violate Federal Law in the management of the Gray Wolf in wilderness areas within the state.


12. GWA, eleven other conservation groups, and Footloose Montana along with two community leaders signed on to a letter requesting the Director and Commission of Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks to suspend all trapping on public lands during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.


13. GWA held their first ever "virtual" board and membership meeting on April 21, 2020 at 9:00am due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many topics were discussed and it was felt that this medium (Zoom) held great promise for future meetings.


14. On May 8, 2020, submitted comments to the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council over the idea of proposed hunting of grizzly bears as part of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks statewide's management plan on public land.


15. GWA submitted comments written by Dr. Jim Bailey to the Centers of Disease Control and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on the subject of removal of Brucella abortus from the select agent bioterror list. Comments submitted May 12, 2020.


16. GWA cosigned a letter along with several other NGOs sponsored by Western Watershed urging the U.S. Congress to include stimulus funding for protection of wildlife and public lands on May 12, 2020.


17. On May 30, GWA submitted original comments to the Montana Dept. of Transportation on the U.S. Hwy 191 Project Study, a study researching resources from Four Corners to the Junction of Beaver Creek Rd at Hwy 191 just south of Big Sky, MT. This highway cuts through prime wildlife habitat resulting in severe animal/vehicle collisions each year. If you would like to comment, here is the link.


18. In June, GWA is glad to announce the realization we have our first active Facebook page. See details above.


19. GWA signed on to a letter with other NGOs for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to release all correspondence they have had with the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council (GGBAC). We believe that there has been some attempted influence to get the GGBAC to adopt a proposal for grizzly bear hunting.


20. On July 4th, GWA sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs  requesting them to remove provisions relating to the National Bison Range. GWA and the Blue Goose Alliance and many other groups do not believe that federal lands and their corresponding native wildlife should be negotiated away simply as a real estate deal or as cash to bail out a state's economic woes.


21. On July 23, GWA provided spoken comments to the Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council concerning the future policy on Grizzly Bear Management in the state. Then on August 11, GWA provide further, more detailed comments on the final draft of that plan.


22. We put together a position letter to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission on July 27 to eliminate trapping within the urban interface and/or other recreational areas in Montana as a result of increased demand extending from Covid-19.


23. GWA provided extensive Objection comments to the Forest Service on the 2020 Final Forest Plan for the Custer Gallatin National Forest on August 5. GWA Objected on three (3) counts: Species of Conservation Concern, Wilderness and Land Allocations, and Climate Change and Forest Health. As of Oct. 16, we learned that our Objections have been accepted by the Forest Service. Now we wait for the discussion period with the FS of the 17-19th of November.


24. On August 23, we finalized our comments on the Hwy 191 Corridor Study Project within the Gallatin Canyon.


25. On August 27, we presented a letter to the State of Montana urging them protect the Congress designated WSAs as they currently exist. Their wilderness status needs to be maintained until the proper debate and discussion by the public has taken place. There should be no action taken by others to circumvent the traditional process.


26. GWA provided the Custer Gallatin National Forest with extensive comments on the proposed South Plateau Landscape Area Treatment Project on September 15.


27. GWA has submitted comments for the Montana Forest Action Plan, dated Oct. 21, 2020, a state-wide action mandated by Governor Bullock's Executive Order.


28. GWA have been in active conversations and discussions with three recent issues pertaining to wildlife connectivity and habitat in and around Bozeman, MT since the end of October till the middle of November.

  • We have commented on the proposed timber sale along Bear Canyon east of Bozeman by the Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation.
  • We have been in discussion with landowners and GVLT over a proposed land acquisition which could trigger the construction of a parking lot and trailhead into a prime wildlife habitat area. This is a "not so easy call" over future use of state lands.
  • GWA has provided several documents and discussions over the City of Bozeman's Community Plan 2020, which wants to extend city limits southward and eastward in the vicinity of wildlife habitat and connectivity areas. 
  • GWA completed 3 days of Objections to the CGNF plan (Nov. 17-19). Now we wait for the final decision of the Forest Service.


29. We submitted comments to MFWP on the potential sale of a conservation easement near the Missouri River Breaks National Monument near Denton, MT.


30. GWA once again provided substantial comments over the CGNF's attempt to reopen grazing allotments in the Paradise Valley, specifically, the project known as the East Paradise Range Allotment Management Plan.



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