Rocky Mountain Front Rocky Mountain Front

Where Montana’s dramatic peaks give way to the Northern Great Plains, the Rocky Mountain Front forms a landscape unlike any other in America. The Front represents some of the nation’s rarest wildlife habitat—where grizzly bears still roam freely from the… Read More

Grizzly Bears In The Rocky Mountain Front grizzly bear

Big and burly, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are an icon of American wildlife. One of the largest mammals in North America, approximately 50,000 grizzlies lived in the continental United States until the 1800s, when settlers began moving in and cities grew…. Read More

Elkhorn Mountains Big Horn Sheep

The Elkhorn Mountains stretch across 300,000 acres, stand 9,000-feet tall and contain some of the most important and vulnerable wildlife habitat in Montana.  Located just south of Helena, in one of Montana’s fastest-growing regions, these mountains are a winter haven for… Read More

Circle R Ranch Rainbows over a ranch in Montana

Scenic ranches along the West’s great rivers rarely come onto the market—and even more rarely become publicly owned. The Circle R Ranch, rimmed by five miles of the Yellowstone River, is a magnificent exception. Circle R Ranch is about 30… Read More

Traveler’s Rest Traveler's Rest State Park

As a legacy to the nation and in honor of the extraordinary journey of Lewis and Clark, The Conservation Fund and its partners are working to protect historically significant natural areas associated with the legendary expedition. In 2001, the Fund… Read More

Flathead River Aerial view of Flathead River

The Fund facilitated the purchase of more than 240 acres along the main stem of the Flathead River, just north of Flathead Lake. This preserves nearly two miles of high quality, intact cottonwood/riverbank habitat important for federally protected bull trout… Read More


Gates Watson
Gates Watson Missoula, MT
(406) 541-8555

Montana State Director Gates Watson has been with The Conservation Fund since 2001, during which time we’ve helped protect over 100,000 acres of land across the state. Before joining the Fund, Gates started an outdoor adventure program for inner city youths in Pittsburgh. A Pennsylvania native, he holds a business degree from Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University.