Billings, MT was established in 1882 concurrent with the newly arrived railroad, which displaced the Yellowstone River as the area’s economic engine. For a century, Billings was dominated by ranching, agriculture, mining and refining. As the only major city in 125,000 square-miles, it is now a hub of commerce, education, and medical services. It has recently become a center for natural resource agencies and NGOs. Demand for quality of life amenities and local expertise to provide them has contributed to the rediscovery of the river as an ecological and recreational gem. This interest has led to the development of a Natural Areas management program in city wildland areas.