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Your one stop shop for news and notes from the Clark Fork watershed.

River News & Brews: When the Berm Fails

Aerial view of the Smurfit-Stone site, with the Clark Fork River at flood stage.June 18, 2024
Tuesday, June 18 | 6-7:30pm | Alberton Community Center RSVP HERE The only thing separating the Clark Fork River from ill-constructed holding ponds brimming with toxic waste at the abandoned Smurfit-Stone pulp mill site is a shoddy, permeable berm that stretches on for four miles. If that berm failed, the…

Karen Knudsen’s Retirement Bash: Celebrating 31 Years of “YES!”

May 2, 2024
Thursday, May 16 · 5 - 10pm MDT Live music, local food trucks, drinks, and an introduction to incoming Executive Director, Brian Chaffin! RSVP HERE Join us in celebrating this extraordinary leader and human as she journeys beyond a career marked by positive impact, deep personal connections, and saying YES! to…

Meet CFC’s new Executive Director!

default image March 7, 2024
  After an intensive and thoughtful candidate search, we are beyond thrilled to announce that CFC staff and board have appointed Dr. Brian Chaffin as the new Executive Director of the Clark Fork Coalition, succeeding current Executive Director Karen Knudsen after her 17 years at the helm and 31 at…

Deer Lodge Community Deserves a Safe & Clean Arrowstone Park

Kids playing in a slicken at Arrowstone Park in 2022.November 20, 2023
As advocates for the Clark Fork River and the communities that it supports, we believe that the ongoing Superfund work in the headwaters represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for cleanup and restoration. While we might occasionally disagree with decision makers about how cleanup should be accomplished, there are a few underlying…

A New Season for Clark Fork Coalition

August 31, 2023
Dear Friends, Organizations are a lot like rivers. They don’t stand still. They move and shift. They cut new channels. They have seasonal flows. As the Clark Fork River went about its summer business of moving snowmelt through western Montana, the Clark Fork Coalition (CFC) was busy with its own…

Public Comments Open on Upper Clark Fork Strategic Plan

Read the Strategic Plan buttonMay 17, 2023
The State of Montana’s Superfund cleanup of legacy mining pollution from the upper Clark Fork River corridor – between Warm Springs Creek and Garrison – has been underway for 13 years. In that time, the State has removed metals-laced soils from roughly 14 of the project’s 47 river miles and…

Peak Snow Water Equivalent Season

April 5, 2023
Happy peak SWE (snow water equivalent) season! For those of us who really like to nerd out on the climate data, this time of year is always exciting. Most mountainous locations in western Montana experience peak levels of snowpack accumulation anywhere from mid-March through mid-May (largely dependent on elevation) but…

Commissioners weaken selenium standard

April 25, 2022
by David Brooks, executive Director, Montana Trout Unlimited; Andrew Gorder, legal director, Clark Fork Coalition; Ellie Hudson-Heck, conservation assistant, Idaho Conservation League; Derf Johnson, Clean Water Program director and staff attorney, Montana Environmental Information Center Commissioners not telling the truth about selenium standard As the adage goes: everyone is entitled…

Clark Fork Litter Is a Global Issue

April 11, 2022
by Sam Dwyer I’ve spent 94.9% of my life in Montana, but a few years ago I had an opportunity to work at an international school in the Middle East. When I moved to Oman, one of the most striking cultural differences wasn’t the Arabic language or the abayas—there was…

Upper Clark Fork Diversion Dam Removal Project

Alvi-Beck diversion and fish screenMarch 14, 2022
Above: Alvi-Beck site in October 2021 after installation of rock riffle diversion and fish screen. Volunteers planted new willows and shrubs to help the site recover.   A River in Transition By Andy Fischer (Clark Fork Coalition) and Casey Hackathorn (Trout Unlimited) With 43 miles of Superfund cleanup underway at…


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