Belonging to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Upper Gallatin River watershed, we want to preserve our natural resources that are a source of recreation, sustenance, and beauty for our community. We’re aiming to reduce our environmental impact through conservation and ecosystem restoration efforts.
Mountain Cleanup Days
Everyone has dropped something from a chairlift at some point. Whether it's a granola bar wrapper, glove, or your entire ski, it can be hard to find it buried in the snow. That's why the Big Sky Resort employees dedicate a day in the spring to picking up and disposing of all the things that have been dropped from lifts throughout the season, as well as runs and glades. This prevents litter and contamination of our environment, protects wildlife, and keeps our slopes healthy year-round.
Big Sky Resort has adopted a towel reuse program in all of its hotel rooms minimizing the amount of laundry necessary that saves electricity, along with the use of water, discharge, and cleaning products.
Big Sky Resort is upgrading to low-flow plumbing fixtures. Waterless urinals and low-flow toilets are replacing older plumbing fixtures that consumed more water.
Since switching to low-flow toilets, we use 70 % less water in Golden Eagle employee housing as compared to average pre-covid water usage.
In 2022, plumbing fixture upgrades in the Huntley Lodge resulted in a 22% decrease in water usage, despite an increase in the number of hotel guests.
Big Sky Resort uses recycled water to irrigate the Big Sky Golf Course, saving thousands of gallons of freshwater each summer (when we face the highest risk for drought), and minimizing fertilizer use, as the treated effluent is slightly more nutrient-rich.
Clean Mountain Air
Big Sky Resort implemented a No Idling Policy on December 1, 2021, to achieve fuel savings, reduce engine wear, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and improve local air quality. The policy requires all team members and vendors to turn off vehicle and equipment engines between periods of intermittent use to prevent inefficient idling.
You can help to preserve our clean mountain air, by remembering to turn off your vehicle engine when parked in the parking lot or the hotel valet loop.
In 2016 and 2017, the Big Sky Resort Golf Course was the site for an Upper West Fork Gallatin River Nitrogen and Sediment Reduction project. This successful project reduced nitrogen and sediment inputs into the West Fork Gallatin River along the Big Sky Golf Course by enhancing the riparian buffer along the channel, developing wetland features, and restoring riparian vegetation along three eroding streambanks.
In October 2021, Big Sky Resort completed a Middle Fork West Fork restoration project with the Gallatin River Task Force and other community partners. This project implemented post-assisted log structures and beaver dam analogs to dechannelize the stream below Lake Levinsky. These low-impact stream restoration techniques will help restore the wetland habitat and result in improved water quality, increased water storage, increased carbon sequestration, and improved habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants.
In September 2021, Big Sky Resort installed Montana’s first Pano AI smoke-detecting camera on top of Lone Peak. On September 27, 2021 the camera detected and alerted the Big Sky Fire Department to the Shedhorn wildfire.
We see ourselves as stewards of our incredible mountain ecosystem. Because we have stands of Whitebark Pine, a threatened keystone species, we take extra care to protect this species and educate our guests and team members about it.
We map and monitor sightings of invasive species so that we are able to remove and prevent the spreading of non-native plants throughout the summer.