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Remarkable Beyond Borders; People and Landscapes in the Crown of the Continent


A new Sonoran Institute report offers options to shape the future of the Crown of the Continent.

Read the report


Home Where We Work Montana Current Initiatives

Northern Rockies Regional Program
Current Initiatives

Research and Communications

Development that creates great neighborhoods and preserves natural assets is also smart economics. Our work across the Northern Rockies has established a compelling case that smart development reduces public costs and creates more desirable neighborhoods. This cutting-edge work reinvigorates a narrative in support of conservation in the Northern Rockies, which we effectively deliver to policy makers, business leaders, and real estate development professionals.

Check out our research and communications work.

North Platte River Valley, Wyoming

In Wyoming, we are hosting public education events, visioning exercises, and leadership development workshops to help guide a renewed land-use planning process. We are working with landowners, community leaders, agencies, and organizations to help ensure that future growth preserves the Valley’s rich character, enhances the natural resources, and stimulates the economy.

Find out more about our work in Wyoming's North Platte River Valley.

Sheridan County, Wyoming

Our work with Sheridan County partners raised the bar for development. We are now working with other Wyoming communities to show that good design conserves riparian areas, foothills, working agriculture and scenic vistas. Sheridan’s leaders deserve credit for progress made managing complex growth-related issues and we remain committed to helping them find solutions to upcoming challenges.

Find out more about our work in Sheridan County, Wyoming.

Gallatin County, Montana - Gallatin Valley 2050

In Gallatin County, we are partnering with Montana State University on Gallatin Valley 2050 to plan a more sustainable future for the Gallatin Valley. Gallatin Valley 2050 utilizes a new citizen planning tool called Envision Tomorrow that allows citizens and community leaders to “paint” future growth scenarios on a map, compare them for indicators such as water use and carbon footprint, and create strategies that will keep Gallatin Valley special as it grows.

Find out more about Gallatin Valley 2050.

Teton County, Idaho

Teton County experienced enormous speculative development from 2000 to 2008. This was followed by a crash in the local real estate market, leaving thousands of empty lots in distressed subdivisions. Our Reshaping Development Patterns project helps the community and developers redesign failed subdivisions to conserve sensitive farmlands and wildlife habitat and reduce taxpayer liability.

Find out more about our work in Teton County, Idaho.

Networking Communities

We are creating and supporting a network of community organizations and leaders that allows them to learn from each other and spread best practices in growth management and community development.

Find out more about our Networking Communities initiative.

Other Initiatives:

Building from the Best of the Northern Rockies

In 2007 the Institute published “Building from the Best of the Northern Rockies,” culminating a two-year effort with a team of planners, developers, architects and citizens to identify “best development practices” that enhance communities and protect the environment. The book illustrates these practices and promotes an alternative vision for growth by featuring good, innovative urban and rural developments in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. It also suggests policy reforms that will remove barriers to applying best practices and provide incentives to implement them.

Find out more about Building from the Best of the Northern Rockies

Montana Program

The Sonoran Institute's Northern Rockies Program represents an enduring commitment to the rich resources of the Northern Rockies - its land, people, and communities. Based in Bozeman, Montana, our work is based upon the idea that communities make better decisions about their future when they have accurate, compelling information and meaningfully engage their citizens. We work with community partners to shape a better future for the region - one of healthy, lively communities with resilient and strong economies surrounded by working farms and ranches and fish and wildlife habitat.

Randy Carpenter
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Director, Northern Rockies Program


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