9.12.2021 Sypes Canyon Rescue

On September 12, 2021, at 11:12 am, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded to a report of a paragliding accident in the Bridger foothills.

A paraglider flew too low while descending from the launch point above the “M”.  The pilot snagged a tree, resulting in a back injury from the crash.  The pilot made phone contact with other paragliders who very quickly contacted 911.

Due to the mechanism of injury, an air extraction was necessary from the mountain terrain.  Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded with a ground team to make initial contact with the patient, as well as a helicopter team to coordinate a “short haul” from the crash location to an AMR ambulance at Sypes Canyon trailhead.

The patient was located, packaged, and ultimately transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, where they received further treatment for their injuries.

Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind you to call for help in the case of an emergency.  A direct call to 911 provides instantaneous information updates to first responders as well as a precise location of the incident.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

9.12.2021 M Rescue

On September 12, 2021, at 1:11 pm, Gallatin County Dispatch received a call for help at the “M” trailhead. An experienced hiker fell while hiking down the long route of the M trail. A muscle spasm caused the hiker to lose footing and, consequently, fall onto some rocks resulting in a back injury. Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Bridger Canyon Fire, and AMR were dispatched to the trailhead.

Bridger Canyon Fire arrived first and provided initial treatment for the hiker. AMR and Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue resources arrived on scene shortly after.  Search and Rescue members assisted Bridger Canyon Fire with bringing the hiker to the trailhead.  AMR transported the hiker to Bozeman Health for further evaluation.

Sheriff Springer would like to remind the public that even experienced hikers can slip, trip, or fall.  A cell phone was used to relay patient information and provide an accurate location to rescuers.  Preparation, such as having a charged cell phone and a hiking buddy along, can greatly assist rescue operations.

Update on Lone Mountain Trail TIGER Grant Project in Big Sky

For immediate release: September 9, 2021

While major updates to Lone Mountain Trail/MT Highway 64 in Big Sky were delayed this year, the project is moving forward this fall with some important components of the project beginning construction this month while the rest of the project is re-bid.

See the full press release here.

Media contact:
Danielle Scharf
Project Manager/Engineer with Sanderson Stewart

9.5.2021 Lone Mountain Rut Race Rescue

On Sunday September 5, 2021 at approximately 1:50 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky responded to a request for assistance from an individual that was running the “Rut Race” on Lone Mountain at Big Sky. One individual running in the event had fallen into rocks and sustained multiple injuries. The individual suffered lacerations and injuries to their head, body and legs.

Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue and Big Sky Ski Patrol responded with an ATV and specialized rescue sled and were able to treat the patient on scene before transporting off the mountain via “short haul” helicopter out of Bozeman to Big Sky Fire Station #2. The patient was transferred to the Big Sky Fire Department EMS crew for further medical evaluation and transport to the hospital.

Sheriff Dan Springer would like remind people enjoying our recreational opportunities in Gallatin County to realize smoky environments and warm temperatures will exhaust recreationalists faster than usual at higher elevations. Recreationalists should always stay hydrated and know personal limitations of abilities.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

9.3.2021 Blackmore Rescue

On September 3, 2021, at 12:15pm Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call from a group of hikers trekking along Blackmore trail. The caller reported one of their members was feeling dizzy and light headed, about 5 miles from the trailhead, and required assistance coming down the trail.

Gallatin County Sherriff Search and Rescue (GCSSAR) volunteers responded to Hyalite reservoir. GCSSAR volunteers began making their way up the trail to locate the patient and other hikers. The GCSSAR team met the patient and hikers as they were making their way back down the trail. The patient was evaluated onsite and showed no signs of injury other than dehydration. All of the hikers in the group and SAR personnel hiked out together.

Sheriff Springer would like to remind everyone enjoying the outdoors to bring extra water and food while hiking in the backcountry.  Elevation, weather, and terrain are constantly changing in the backcountry and being over prepared can only help during an emergency.

Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

09/03/2021 COVID-19 Deaths

For Immediate Release: September 3, 2021

The Gallatin City-County Health Department is saddened to announce that five more Gallatin County residents have passed away from complications due to COVID-19.

See the full press release here.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department Call Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19. Reach the Call Center by phone at 406-548-0123.

The most accurate local source of information remains the GCCHD website.

Find information on COVID-19 vaccines in Gallatin County here.

Diabetes Prevention Program – English and Spanish

For immediate release: September 2, 2021

The Gallatin City-County Health Department is offering diabetes prevention program in both English and Spanish starting in October 2021.

Over 1 in 3 (37.4%) adults in Montana have prediabetes. Without lifestyle change, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes within five years, putting many Montanans at risk of unnecessary suffering and healthcare costs. Read the full press release here.

The English cohort begins October 20, 2021, and the Spanish cohort begins November 10, 2021. Both require pre-registration and a medical referral. For more information about this program, please call or text Rita at 406-581-1242, or email maria.rita@gallatin.mt.gov.

Final Draft of Gallatin County Growth Policy Now Available

Gallatin County Planning Department


For immediate release: September 1, 2021

The Gallatin County Planning Department is excited to announce the final draft of the Gallatin County Growth Policy. More information on the project and the full document can be found at https://envisiongallatin.com.

The County Growth Policy is the document that guides growth, development, and land use patterns across the County. The document vision is centered around three major themes heard during public outreach: Open Space, Heritage, and Opportunity. The document sets goals and policies, with an eye toward clarity and specificity. The update is comprehensive, reflecting the County’s status as the fastest growing in the state with updated community background information, additional supporting data, and a forward-looking implementation plan.

The adoption of the plan by the Gallatin County Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 21 at the commission’s weekly public meeting. The meeting is held in the Community Room of the Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman. Virtual attendance options are also available. Members of the public are encouraged to attend in person or virtually. The full agenda and attendance options will be posted at this link the week prior to the meeting.

Questions or comments can also be submitted anytime by contacting the project manager, Garrett McAllister, at garrett.mcallister@gallatin.mt.gov.

County-Wide Burn Ban Lifted in Gallatin County


For immediate release: August 31, 2021

The Gallatin County Commission has lifted the county-wide burn ban as of Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Citing recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, and safer fuel levels, the Commission on voted 3-0 on Tuesday to rescind the county’s burn ban ordinance adopted on July 20.

“Everything points to us rescinding these current restrictions,” said Commission Chair Scott MacFarlane, adding, “We can always go back as needed.”

“I’m grateful to the folks across the county who have done their part to keep things from getting away from us here in Gallatin County. And I’m grateful for the work of firefighters and first responders across the state and nation,” said Commissioner Zach Brown.

Graph provided by the Northern Rockies Coordination Center.

Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County’s chief of emergency management and fire, reminds everyone to continue burning responsibly as fire season in Montana has not ended.

“Gallatin County’s wildland fuel conditions are now closer to average for this time of year, but keep in mind this does not mean that a fire can’t escape and become a large fire,” Lonergan said. “It is imperative that everyone follow safe burning practices at all times and never burn when weather conditions aren’t safe. Let’s not forgot the Bridger Foothills Fire occurred on September 4.”

Burn permits are still required for non-recreational fires. Many fire districts will continue to keep open burning closed until further into the fall when even safer burning conditions exists in their areas.

Burn permits and the most current open burning status information is available at gallatinburnpermits.com.

Residents are encouraged to register for the Community Notification System to ensure they receive timely information about an emergency happening in Gallatin County. For free registration, visit alerts.readygallatin.com.

Tomorrow, fire restrictions will be lifted on public lands within the Custer Gallatin National Forest including the Bozeman and Hebgen Lake Ranger Districts. Last week, the City of Bozeman also lifted its burn ban. And surrounding counties in southwestern Montana are in the process of rescinding similar restrictions.

8.28.21 Middle Cottonwood Rescue

On August 28, 2021, at 10:01 A.M. Gallatin County 911 received a call for an individual who suffered a seizure while hiking Middle Cottonwood Canyon with a group of friends. After the seizure the hiker was incoherent and unsure of their location.  A nurse hiking at the same time called 911, stayed with the patient, and was able to relay further information to responders.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue volunteers responded to the Middle Cottonwood Canyon Trailhead and deployed two teams up the trail with a one wheel litter.  About 2.75 miles up the trail, Search and Rescue teams met the patient. All parties were able to walk out and once back at the trailhead, the patient was turned over to AMR for further medical care.

Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind recreationalists that accidents and medical events can happen at any time, anywhere.  Traveling with a partner and having a way to call for help can aid in a fast rescue.  Should you have to recreate alone, always tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.