National Forest Foundation

Beaverhead-Deerlodge Working Group

Beaverhead-Deerlodge Working Group


The Beaverhead-Deerlodge Working Group (BDWG) is a citizen-based committee of people who represent key interests, geographic balance, and knowledge of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Members represent timber, country commissioners, agriculture/ranching, quiet and motorized recreation, conservation, hunting and fishing, outfitters/guides, and citizen interests.

An initial organizing committee began meeting in May 2011 to develop the concept and structure of the group, and to identify key people and interests to invite to the collaborative table. The full BDWG began meeting in October 2011 and has met almost monthly since its start.


The BDWG works to develop common understanding amongst diverse stakeholders and serve as a bridge to broader constituencies on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF). Litigation and appeals are commonly filed on the BDNF and conflict has been high around the new forest plan. Working Group members hope to provide a way to resolve forest level issues in a positive manner before they get to the appeal stage, resulting in more restoration work being done on the ground and in a way that achieves ecological objectives as well as community benefits.

There is currently no other forest-wide collaborative group on the BDNF, and the Forest Service has welcomed and supported the BDWG as a way to engage more deeply with the various interests involved in the Forest. The purpose of the BDWG is to develop agreement around priority areas and approaches for project work on the BDNF and to help facilitate completion of those projects at the local level.


  • Developing common understanding among diverse stakeholders and serving as a bridge to broader constituencies
  • Reaching agreements that will lead to more efficient and effective restoration project work being achieved at the watershed level
  • Increasing the understanding of Forest Service processes and approaches
  • Offering and supporting innovations
  • Identifying management efficiencies and priority projects
  • Foster broader public support and ownership of proposed Forest Service actions


  • County Commissioner Dan Allhands, Madison County
  • Tony Colter, Timber Representative
  • Maureen Connor, Citizen at Large
  • Chris Edgington, Fishing Representative
  • Nick Gevock, Hunting Representative
  • Nick Jose, Timber Representative
  • John Kountz, Ranching/Agriculture Representative
  • Karen Laitala, Quiet Recreation Representative
  • Chris Marchion, Hunting Representative
  • Willy Peck, Timber Representative
  • County Commissioner Tom Rice, Beaverhead County
  • Rick Sandru, Ranching/Agriculture Representative
  • Mark Thompson, Mining Representative
  • Darcie Warden, Conservation Representative
  • County Commissioner Leonard Wortman, Jefferson County

Meetings and Documents

The BDWG meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM at the Butte Archives in Butte, MT unless stated otherwise.

BDWG Protocols (Updated June 2018)


Current Projects

US Forest Service's Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA) for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

News & Press

''We can find common ground': Forest projects in Jefferson County built on collaboration (Montana Standard, July 2018)


Montana Forest Collaboration Network

For More info or to join the BDWG Mailing list, Please CONTACT