"Being a person with a passion for preservation I was thrilled to participate in WET."

"WET has given me the opportunity to learn about wetlands, be a useful member of our community, and help preserve these important habitats in my valley."

Wetland Survey


Be part of the first long-term study of Gallatin County’s wetlands! Montana State University Extension- Gallatin County is recruiting volunteers to monitor wetlands this summer and for years to come. Why wetlands? Because they...

• improve water quality by filtering out sediment and pollutants

• reduce flooding by absorbing and storing water

• provide places to hike, fish, birdwatch, and explore

• provide habitat for unique plants and animals

• are rapidly disappearing due to changing land use.

As a volunteer citizen scientist, you can play a vital role in helping us understand how development and water use are impacting our county’s wetlands. The information you collect will inform wetland management and future planning efforts.Plus, you'll get to explore gorgeous wetlands throughout Gallatin County.

During May-July 2017, volunteers can sign up to help the volunteer coordinator conduct wetland surveys in the field.  You do not need any experience to join, but you must be able to hike half a mile off-trail through brushy, uneven, and sometimes flooded terrain and tolerate biting insects and summer heat.


Questions and Answers

  • How much time is required?
    • Volunteers can sign up to join MSU staff on as few or as many surveys as they would like. Volunteers should expect to spend 3 hours in the field per survey plus travel time.
  • When can I volunteer?
    • Surveys will occur on weekdays during business hours from late May through the end of July.
  • Where are the surveys?
    • Survey points are scattered throughout Gallatin County, with clusters in Bozeman, Hyalite Reservoir, Big Sky, Three Forks, and West Yellowstone. All points are on public land and within a mile walk from the parking area. See below for a map of all our survey sites.
  • Is transportation provided?
    • Volunteers can meet staff at the MSU Extension office in Bozeman and ride in an MSU vehicle to the surveys. If you prefer, you can meet staff at the survey sites by driving your own vehicle instead.
  • What do the surveys consist of?
    • Surveys consist of driving to the site, navigating with a GPS to the survey point (walking off-trail up to a half-mile), and taking various measurements and estimates of the wetland’s condition.
    • Click here to download the data form we use to complete the surveys.
  • What physical ability is required?
    • Volunteers should be able to hike up to half a mile off-trail in uneven terrain through thick vegetation and withstand biting insects and summer heat.
  • Do I need any experience or qualifications?
    • You do not need any experience, but you must be at least 18 years old and sign a waiver.


To get involved, contact the Gallatin County Natural Resource Agent at (406) 582-3280 to schedule a training session. Click the links below to download the volunteer materials:


Wetland Survey Sites


You can download the results of this years data collection here 

Click here for more wetland information

Click here to return to the wetlands homepage


For More Information Contact:

Natural Resource Agent
Gallatin County Extension
903 N Black Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715

Tel (406) 582 - 3290
Fax (406) 582 - 3289