Friends of Hyalite Announces New Executive Director

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Friends of Hyalite is excited to announce that we’ve hired a new Executive Director. Josh Fairchilds replaces founder Joe Josephson who served as Executive Director since 2010. Joe Josephson will remain on the Board and as the volunteer Director of Friends of Hyalite’s signature event, the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival (coming up December 6-10). Josh brings 20 years working in the outdoor industry as well as over five years of non-profit board experience. Most recently he served as co-founder and senior manager for Bozeman-based Oboz Footwear.

“Josh’s connections to the local business and recreation communities will be a tremendous asset to Friends of Hyalite,” says Josephson. “We couldn’t be more fortunate to have someone of Joshe’s caliber and vision to lead the organization.”

Friends of Hyalite is the only organization dedicated to the support for winter plowing of the Hyalite Canyon road. Since 2011 we have secured more than $82,000 in grants and donations to keep the road open through a unique cost-share partnership with the Forest Service and Gallatin County. Currently, Friends of Hyalite needs to raise $15,000 per year to allow the road to stay open through the winter season. Over 20,000 people per winter month enjoy the skiing, climbing, ice fishing, wildlife, and outstanding scenery the 33,000-acre Hyalite Canyon has to offer. Hyalite is also a primary source of Bozeman’s water supply.

“We are very grateful for Joe’s countless hours of work and dedication to Friends of Hyalite and the Custer Gallatin National Forest. His efforts have resulted in an immense number of volunteer hours being spent cleaning, having winter access to, and maintaining the Hyalite drainage. The Forest is looking forward to working with Josh to continue this stewardship legacy,” said Mary Erikson, Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor.

“I am excited to utilize my broad experience and passion for the Bozeman community to grow and enrich the Friend’s mission,” said Fairchilds. “I look forward to continuing the energized and positive relationship with the Forest Service and Gallatin County to ensure continued winter access to Hyalite Canyon.” Josh can be reached at

Ciera Krinke