4.17.21 Fan Mountain Rescue

On April 17, 2021, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue was called to
Fan Mountain for an injured skier. The injured party was backcountry skiing
when they fell and slid several hundred feet down the slope. The slide
resulted in a knee injury which prevented their self-rescue.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky coordinated with Big Sky Ski Patrol and Lifeflight Medical Helicopter to access the patient and fly the injured party off the mountain to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

4.16.21 M Trail Rescue

On April 16th at  5:47pm Gallatin County 911 received a call of a hiker who had fallen approximately half way up the steep way of the M trail and suffered a possible broken ankle. The hiker was in severe pain and unable to bear any weight on the injury.  Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and AMR responded.  The hiker was transported down to the parking lot on a one wheeled litter and then transferred to AMR.  AMR transported the patient to Bozeman Health for further evaluation.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Homicide Suspects Pursuit Near West Yellowstone

For immediate release: April 16, 2021

On April 15, 2021, at approximately 10:30 PM, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was called as part of a multi-agency response in the West Yellowstone area for a vehicle pursuit. The suspect vehicle was wanted in connection with a homicide out of Billings.

The two suspects exited their vehicle and fled on foot into the Duck Creek area near the intersection of Highway 287 and Highway 191. Several law enforcement agencies, including the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service, West Yellowstone Police Department, U.S. Forest Service, Fish Wildlife and Parks Game Wardens, Montana Highway Patrol, and the Bozeman Police Department (as part of the joint Special Response Team) worked together to secure a perimeter. A shelter in place order was communicated to the residents near this location.

Law enforcement heard two gunshots shortly after the suspects had entered the wooded area. Ultimately, the suspects were located deceased near Duck Creek. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s / Coroner’s Office will continue investigating the incident. The shelter in place request was lifted early this morning.

Ballots for Gallatin County School and Special Districts Election Mailed on Friday

Gallatin County Election Department

For immediate release: April 16, 2021

On Friday, April 16, ballots for the 2021 school and special districts election on May 4 in Gallatin County are being mailed to active voters in districts that are holding elections.

Those districts include the following:

  • Schools:
    • Amsterdam
    • Anderson
    • Belgrade
    • Big Sky
    • Bozeman
    • Gallatin Gateway
    • LaMotte
    • Manhattan
    • Monforton
    • Springhill
    • West Yellowstone
    • Willow Creek
  • Special districts:
    • Big Sky Transportation District
    • Central Valley Fire District

In total, 71,862 ballots will be mailed. Sample ballots can be found here. For questions on specific ballot measures or candidates, please contact that district directly.

As with all mail ballot elections, there is always an option to vote in-person at the Gallatin County Election office, located in the Courthouse at 311 W. Main St., Room 210 in Bozeman. In-person voting for this election began Wednesday, April 14. If your ballot is destroyed, spoiled, lost, or not received, you may request a replacement ballot no later than 8 PM on Election Day.

Ballots must be received at the Gallatin County Election office or a designated place of deposit no later than 8 PM on Election Day. Ballots may be returned by mail or in-person. Get your ballots in the mail no later than Wednesday, April 28 to ensure they arrive at our office in time.

Places of deposit for this election are the Gallatin County Election Department (311 W. Main St., room 210 in Bozeman) and the Monforton School District Office (6001 Monforton School Road, Bozeman). Voters in any district can drop their ballots off at either location. Both locations are open during regular business hours Monday through Friday until May 3, and then from 7 AM to 8 PM on Election Day on May 4.

Voter registration

Gallatin County is currently in the late registration period for the May 4 election. In order to register to vote or to make changes to your registration at this time, you must appear in-person at the Gallatin County Election office. Late registration extends until noon on May 3 and reopens again on Election Day, May 4, from 7 AM to 8 PM.

To find out if you will be sent a ballot for this election, or if you have other questions, please contact our office at gallatin.elections@gallatin.mt.gov or 406-582-3060. For more information, you can also visit gallatinvotes.com.

Media contact:
Eric Semerad, Gallatin County Clerk & Recorder

4.15.21 Bakers Hole Area Bear Attack

On Thursday April 15, 2021 at approximately 3:42 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service, West Yellowstone Police Department & Hebgen Basin Fire & EMS responded to a report of a grizzly bear attack on an individual near Bakers Hole Campground area.  Law Enforcement teams were able to locate the injured party after approximately 50 minutes of off-trail searching.  The individual had sustained significant scalp and facial injuries.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search & Rescue were requested to respond on snowmobile with a rescue toboggan to an area approximately 70 yards away.  The patient was able to be transported by volunteers to the toboggan, then taken by snowmobile to a nearby ambulance. Hebgen Basin Fire Department EMS crews then transported the patient to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further medical treatment.

Now is the time to remember to be conscientious in the backcountry as the bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food sources.

The Forest Service and Fish Wildlife and Parks are investigating the incident.


Gallatin County Federal Lawsuit

For immediate release: April 15, 2021

Beginning on November 16, 2020, a non-jury trial was held in the case of Daniels vs. Gallatin County. The case involved an accident on the East Frontage Road that occurred on January 12, 2017, when a County snow plow collided with Ms. Daniels’s car. On March 10, 2021, District Judge Rienne McElyea entered an Order finding that Gallatin County and its snowplow driver Rick Blackwood were negligent in causing the accident involving Ms. Daniels. Judge McElyea awarded damages to Ms. Daniels in the total amount of $12,410,016.11. In a subsequent order Judge McElyea reduced the award by $750,000.00 based on a prior payment made by the County to Ms. Daniels.

Gallatin County and Mr. Blackwood retained the Billings Law Firm of Halverson, Mahlen and Wright to represent them in proceedings related to the insurance applicable in the Daniels case. On April 5, 2021, the County and Mr. Blackwood filed a complaint in U.S. Federal District Court in Butte against the County’s insurance companies, Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company (ASIC) and OneBeacon Government Risks. The County’s Complaint includes allegations of bad faith and breach of contract related to ASIC’s insurance agreement with the County.

The following is taken from the Complaint against ASIC:

“ASIC did not effectuate prompt and fair settlement and protect Gallatin County and Blackwood through payment of its policy limits in exchange for a release for Gallatin County and Blackwood. . . ASIC refuses and continues to refuse to provide a basis for its failure to provide assurances that it will protect Gallatin County and its taxpayers in the event its appeal is unsuccessful and Gallatin County and Gallatin County taxpayers are left exposed to the judgment, attorney fees, costs, and interest, as well as any additional amounts the District Court orders.”

Media contacts:

Marty Lambert, Gallatin County Attorney

Whitney Bermes, Gallatin County Communications Coordinator

4/15/2021 COVID-19 Deaths in Gallatin County

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2021

The Gallatin City-County Health Department is saddened to announce that two 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-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19. Reach the Call Center by phone at 406-548-0123 or email at callcenter@readygallatin.com.

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

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

4.13.21 Sourdough Canyon Search

On April 13, 2021 at approximately 5:13 pm, Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call for a lost hiker on Sourdough Canyon Trail. The hiker had gone out on Sourdough Canyon Trail earlier in the day, and after a few wrong turns, had lost sight of the trail because it was snow covered. The hiker became disoriented and lost but was able to call 911.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue team members responded to the trailhead with ATV’s, side by sides, ground crews, search dog teams, and drones.  A Lifeflight helicopter crew assisted in the search before weather conditions deteriorated.  As darkness approached, and the drones were just about to turn back, they located a heat signature with their thermal camera.  Based on the information provided by the drone teams, 911 call, and a dog team following tracks, ground teams safely located the hiker nearing midnight.

After assessing for injuries on site, the hiker was escorted back to the trailhead where they were medically cleared by AMR personnel.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

4.11.21 Rendezvous Ski Trail Rescue

On Sunday, April 11, 2021 at approximately 3:49 pm, the West Yellowstone Police Department dispatch center received a 911 call from an injured skier on the Rendezvous Ski Trail system just south of West Yellowstone. The skier had sustained a knee injury after a fall and was unable to ski out on their own.

Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone responded the scene on a tracked four wheeler and transported the skier safely back to town. The skier opted to travel back to Bozeman with companions for a medical evaluation.

Fundraising to Continue for Southwest Montana COVID-19 Response Fund

For immediate release: April 8, 2021

Greater Gallatin United Way and the One Valley Community Foundation, who jointly raised and awarded over $500,000 for the Southwest Montana COVID-19 Relief Fund between March and August 2020, announced today that they will be continuing to fundraise for The Southwest Montana COVID-19 Response Fund. This funding will provide support for the ongoing community needs resulting from the pandemic, remote learning pressures, and the economic slow-down.

See the full press release here.

Media contacts:

Danica Jamison, President & CEO of Greater Gallatin United Way

Bridget Wilkinson, Executive Director of One Valley Community Foundation