National Forest Foundation | Beaverhead-Deerlodge Working Group |…

Beaverhead-Deerlodge Working Group

Purpose Statement

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 and 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 among diverse stakeholders and serves as a bridge to broader constituencies on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF). 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.

Our overall objectives Include:

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

Meet the Working Group

  • 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 and agriculture representative
  • Karen Laitala, quiet recreation representative
  • Chris Marchion, hunting representative
  • Willy Peck, timber representative
  • Commissioner Tom Rice, Beaverhead County
  • Rick Sandru, ranching/agriculture representative
  • Darcie Warden, conservation representative
  • 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)

BDWG Capacity Committee Action Plan (Updated July 2021)

BDWG Partnership Committee Action Plan (Updated July 2021)

BDWG Communications Committee Action Plan (Updated July 2021)

BDWG Recreation Committee Action Plan (Updated July 2021)

Meeting Records

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)

Other Collaborative Groups and Resources in the Area:

Montana Forest Collaboration Network

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

Ben Irey, Conservation Connect Program Manager, at [email protected]