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Small Town Toolbox

With the exception of Billings, the communities in the Beartooth service area are small, with populations ranging from a low of 80 to a high of 6,700. The resources on this page are especially suited to these small, rural communities.  

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Joint Planning Resource Guide

The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) developed this joint planning resource guide in April 2022, designed to help you eliminate barriers and encourage collaboration among your stakeholders.

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Heartland Center for Leadership Development

The Heartland Center for Leadership Development is an independent, nonprofit organization developing local leadership that responds to the challenges of the future in small towns and rural communities.

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Clues to Rural Community Survival

“20 Clues to Rural Community Survival” is one of the Heartland Center’s most popular and effective training tools. The list of vital characteristics provides an “ideal” benchmark against which people can measure their own community. It moves people naturally from theory, to strategy, to action.

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Rural Tourism Resources

Rural America has a lot to offer when it comes to discovering cultural heritage and exploring the great outdoors. This provides resource information to help rural communities with tourism development.

USDA has compiled a list of potential resources to assist communities in the development of rural tourism initiatives.


Deb Brown and Becky McCray are working with Beartooth RC&D to revitalize the economy in our rural communities and small towns. Check out some of their great ideas and start making a difference in YOUR town today!

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