Missoula city committee to consider dramatic downtown riverfront development proposal
Missoulian, 11/9/16 and New West, 11/8/16
Karen Knudsen, the executive director of the nonprofit Clark Fork Coalition in Missoula, said the project is “an opening for redefining how our community interacts with, and cares for, the Clark Fork River for decades to come.” …Knudsen said the Riverfront Triangle project could be a defining moment and a template for how riverside growth will unfold in years to come. See more: Missoulian | New West Daily Roundup for Nov. 8, 2016
Missoulians volunteer to clean up the Clark Fork
KPAX, Channel 8, 10/15/16
This is the fourth consecutive year that the Clark Fork Coalition, Missoula Valley Water Quality District and the Poverello Center have teamed up for the Reserve Street River Cleanup. See more…
Volunteers remove tons of trash from Reserve Street homeless camps
“The goal of this cleanup is to target environmental and human health concerns associated with temporary camps that have been established along the river,” said Holly Biehl, outreach and marketing director for the nonprofit Clark Fork Coalition. See more…
Memorial float honors loved ones and raises money for youth education
The beauty of the event is that all the guides for the two main groups – one fishing, one just a scenic float – donated their time. That means the proceeds will benefit the youth education programs at the Clark Fork Coalition, a local nonprofit that has a mission to preserve water quality and to promote awareness about local aquifers, streams and rivers. See more…
EPA planning update on Smurfit site cleanup
KPAX, Channel 8, Missoula, 9/28/16
It’s now been three years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed placement of the old Smurfit Stone mill site on the national “Superfund” list…During this process, Missoula County leaders — as well as the Clark Fork Coalition — have remained concerned over the delays.. See more…
Kudos to the court for nixing exempt wells
Missoulian op ed, 9/26/16
Finally, a group of water users, joined by the Clark Fork Coalition, took the state to court to overturn the new rule and revert to the previous requirement … See more…
Grassroots learning feeds future workforce
Montana Standard, 9/23/16
2016 Montana Teacher of the Year Jessica Anderson teaches her Deer Lodge students what workforce innovators thrive on: partnering with public and private entities for real-world experience in solving real-life problems…For example, her students study Montana snow pack and how it impacts both fires and floods…They study soil and water quality with the Clark Fork Coalition… See more…
Montana Supreme Court upholds ruling on exempt wells
Bitterroot Star, 9/20/16
The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling by Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock that basically closes a loophole in the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) regulations that was allowing developers to get subdivision approval for proposals the size of a small town without going through the permitting process established to enforce the state’s Water Use Act. The Clark Fork Coalition and a few individual senior water right holders challenged the rule in September 2010. See more…
Montana Supreme Court rules against water well ‘loophole’
Washington Times, 9/14/16
In a 6-1 decision Tuesday, the justices upheld a lower judge’s order striking down a regulation that resulted in about 3,000 permit-exempt water wells being drilled each year since 1993. There are now about 113,000 exempt wells across the state, and there would be 78,000 more by the end of the decade if the regulation stayed in place, the majority opinion written by Justice Laurie McKinnon said. See more…
Montana Supreme Court rules against unlimited household wells
Montana on the Ground, 9/14/16
In a 6-1 ruling on Tuesday, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a district court ruling that limited the number of household wells that subdivision developers could drill without a water-permit exemption. The ruling preserves Montana’s system of water rights that gives priority of water use to owners of older water rights and could ultimately keep more water in Montana’s streams. See more…
Watershed group harnesses team of researchers to study Lolo Creek
Meanwhile, the private Clark Fork Coalition has been teaming with the U.S. Forest Service in rehabilitating old logging roads around the headwaters of Lolo Creek. That work erased 13 miles of road this summer, and restored seven miles of mountain streams that were formerly too sediment-clogged for fish to use. See more…
Montana Supreme Court rules against water well ‘loophole’
Billings Gazette, 9/14/16
The Montana Supreme Court has ruled against what conservationists call a loophole that allowed residential subdivision developers to draw a large amount of water from a limited source by drilling numerous small wells without a permit. See more…
Exempt well loophole fails before state Supreme Court
A state rule home builders used to drill multiple wells for subdivisions violates the Montana Water Use Act, according to the Montana Supreme Court…The Missoula-based Clark Fork Coalition sued DNRC to end the exemption in 2010 after failing to negotiate a new rule with the agency. See more…
Environmental Coalition Challenges Rock Creek Mine Water Permit
Flathead Beacon, 9/12/16
A coalition of environmental groups is challenging the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s proposed decision to issue a water permit to the company hoping to build a massive copper and silver mine near Noxon… See more… This story also carried in New West Daily Roundup 9/13/16
Coalition Challenges Water Right Permit for Rock Creek Mine That Would Drain Wilderness Streams
Park Forest, IL eNews, 9/6/16
“DNRC is giving the Rock Creek Mine the go-ahead for a water use that would dry up trout streams and violate the water quality laws DEQ is charged with enforcing. It’s time for the agencies to start talking to each other,” said Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition.. See more…
A river runs through difficulties: Clark Fork facing low flow, high temp challenges
Montana Standard, 8/28/16 and Helena Independent Record 8/29/16
Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture acting deputy secretary Mike Scuse along with Democrats U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock spoke before approximately 50 people at the nonprofit Clark Fork Coalition’s Dry Cottonwood Creek Ranch along the river to celebrate $1.7 million in federal money about to come to the area. See more: MT Standard and Helena IR
Lolo Creek running dry again
KPAX, Channel 8, Missoula, 8/24/16 and Missoulian, 8/25/16
The Clark Fork Coalition has been concerned about the “dewatering” on Lolo Creek over the past several seasons, worried about the impacts on westslope cutthroat and native bull trout that have been an historical part of the stream. See more: KPAX and Missoulian
Rattlesnake Creek’s milky-white color due to lots and lots of mud
KPAX, Channel 8, Missoula 8/24/16
“When creeks get really muddy like this, A: Fish can’t see their food, and so they’re not going to be eating, and B: It can mess with their gills and make it hard for them to absorb oxygen,” explained Clark Fork Coalition science director Christina Brick… See more…
Water safety instruction along the Clark Fork
ABC Fox News, 7/28/16
“Demystify what the weather’s going to be like, what the flows are like, what the hazards are,” says Clark Fork Coalition executive director Karen Knudsen. “Really be knowledgeable about the put-ins and the take-outs, and what to do in case things go south.” See more…
Progress of cleanup shown through flyover
Silver State Post, 7/27/16
From more than 1,000 feet in the air, the differences between the phases of the Upper Clark Fork Superfund Cleanup that have been completed and those which have yet to be done are drastic… The Clark Fork Coalition sponsored two flights for government leaders and press to see the progress from above.. See more…
Clark Fork River cleanup: Saga of a 44-mile river project
Montana Standard, 7/26/16
Having undertaken an ambitious project — cleaning up 44 river miles on the Clark Fork — the state has so far removed about 1.2 million cubic yards of “dirty dirt” in both Powell and Anaconda-Deer Lodge counties… Last week, the Clark Fork Coalition, a Clark Fork River environmental group, teamed up with Ecoflights, a Colorado-based environmental nonprofit, to provide short flights for local media, state and county officials to get an overview of the work DEQ and NRD have accomplished so far. See more…
Erasing old roads restores Lolo streams
Decades of logging left a tangle of roads in the hills east of Highway 12. Erosion from that loose, granitic soil hurts the cutthroat and bull trout fisheries all the way down Lolo Creek to the Bitterroot River…”Five years from now, you’ll hardly know there was a road up here. In 20 years, it will be totally gone,” said Jed Whiteley, Clark Fork Coalition project manager. See more…
High levels of algae found in Clark Fork River
NBC Montana, 7/21/16
The Clark Fork Coalition is keeping an eye on one of the largest algae blooms they have seen in years… “One of the reasons may be that we didn’t have a high peak flow this year. Our runoff was also lower than usual, which doesn’t tumble the rocks as much,” said Clark Fork Coalition science director Chris Brick. See more…
Missoula anglers: Rain, rain, don’t go away
Jed Whiteley, project manager of the Clark Fork Coalition, said the level of the Clark Fork below Missoula came up 9 inches over the weekend. Unfortunately, Whiteley said without snow runoff – the snowpack from February all melted during Missoula’s warmest April ever recorded, causing the runoff to happen a month early – the river will probably be back down to a shallow level by the end of the week. See more…
Water levels extremely low in western Montana rivers
ABC Fox News, 7/8/16
The chain effect of lower water levels goes far beyond just having less water in local rivers. Clark Fork Coalition’s Jed Whitely says lower water levels set off a negative environmental reaction with plants and aquatic life in the river. See more…
Missoula feeling the heat in ‘somewhat unusual’ summer
These factors have combined to turn parts of the Clark Fork River green. It’s called Cladophora, “a green algae that attaches to hard surfaces in shallow rivers and streams,” according to the Clark Fork Coalition… The coalition has [also] reminded people to follow the “leave no trace” principle, by leaving the beaches and river cleaner than when you came.” See more…
Big hopes for small streams: Tributaries may restore fish populations to upper Clark Fork
This exercise in catch-and-record was put together by the Clark Fork Coalition in its “Eight Great Trout Streams” campaign. Will McDowell, the Missoula-based organization’s restoration director, wants to clarify the status of all the tributary streams between Opportunity and Deer Lodge that contribute to the health of the upper Clark Fork River. See more…
Frenchtown mill owner guilty of failing to clean Canadian pulp plant
“However, I have been encouraged with the collaboration so far between Environmental Protection Agency, (Montana) Department of Natural Resources, Clark Fork Coalition, and the (Confederated Salish and Kootenai) Tribes. They’re wanting to involve the community in the process. That’s really going to be the key to the future of this.” See more…
Rewatering project helps Prickly Pear Creek but still a funding challenge
Helena Independent Record, 6/1/16
The Clark Fork Coalition adopted the project in 2011, and in 2013 the water quality protection district took on administration of purchasing water from the Bureau of Reclamation… See more…
Mining companies plan merger to explore Cabinet silver deposit
Karen Knudsen of the Clark Fork Coalition said her organization wanted to make sure it doesn’t become something like Hecla’s Grouse Creek Mine in Idaho, which ran into problems near the border of the Frank Church Wilderness.. See more…
Early runoff prevents flood levels in Clark Fork River
NBC Montana, 5/24/16
Although there is no major concern for floods in the Missoula area, folks at the Clark Fork Coalition want people to have a flood safety plan in place. [link removed by NBC]
Parrot funding comes with a lecture — and a refund request
Montana Standard, 5/20/16
Clark Fork Coalition representative Chris Brick spoke during the public comment period, pointing out that some restoration money went toward the removal of Milltown Dam. But, she added, she supports the council’s decisions. See more…
Businesses ask Supreme Court to reinstate exempt well rule
Billings Gazette, 5/18/16
The amount of water taken by those wells from 1993, when the regulations were put into effect, to 2010 amounted to 2,575 football fields under 10 feet of water, according to the Clark Fork Coalition, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. See more…
Hundreds turn out for annual Clark Fork River Cleanup – 4/30/16
Hundreds of volunteers of all ages gathered on April 30 to help clean up the Clark Fork River at the Coalition’s annual river cleanup event. The volunteers were welcomed by Missoula Mayor John Engen and Montana Governor Steve Bullock. Coverage below:
Volunteers re-vegetate banks of Lolo Creek
ABC Fox News, Missoula 4/16/16
Volunteers came out Friday and Saturday to plant trees along Lolo Creek to reduce sediment going into the water as a result of the 2013 fires. Clark Fork Coalition and Lolo Watershed Group came together for this project because they say strength in numbers gets more trees planted. See more…
Volunteers work to restore vegetation in the Lolo Creek area
KPAX, Channel 8, Missoula 4/15/16
Volunteers of all ages were at the Lolo Creek Complex Fire site working to restore native vegetation lost in the fire. … The blaze left vegetation struggling to make a comeback. The streambanks have since destabilized, resulting in sediment loads washing into Lolo Creek. Young volunteers are working with the Lolo Watershed Group and the Clark Fork Coalition this weekend to restore the vegetation. See more…
New life for Lolo Creek 3 years after fire
ABC Fox News, Missoula 4/15/16
Three years after a fire torched nearly 11-thousand acres along Highway 12, those with the Clark Fork Coalition say there’s new life coming for the Lolo Creek area. On Friday and Saturday, school kids, nonprofit organizations and several surrounding communities will all come together in a large scale volunteer event to restore 840 feet of stream bank and plant more than 1,000 trees. See more…
Cabinet Wilderness mine ruling challenged in court
The Spokesman-Review, 4/5/16
Environmentalists are challenging U.S. Forest Service approval of a $500 million copper and silver mine in northwest Montana, citing concerns from state officials that it could drain surrounding waterways and potentially harm a species of trout protected under federal law. …“It’s simply not smart to treat wilderness waterways this way,” said Karen Knudsen with the Clark Fork Coalition.” See more…
Lawsuit challenges approval of Montana copper, silver mine
Seattle Times, Missoulian, and KULR News (Channel 8, NBC Billings), 4/4/16
Three conservation groups filed a lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Forest Service that seeks to overturn the federal agency’s approval of a $500 million copper and silver mine in northwest Montana. …“The Forest Service’s approval of mining at the expense of clean, plentiful water and trout habitat isn’t just old thinking,” said Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, “it’s also dangerous and unlawful.” See more: Seattle Times | Missoulian
VIDEO: A Look at the Clark Fork in “The Last Great Place”
The Venturing Angler, 3/2/16
In an effort to learn more about some of the issues at hand [in the Clark Fork River watershed], we connected with Andy Fischer, a Project Manager for the Clark Fork Coalition, to fish a recently restored headwaters stream and discuss some of his organization’s innovative and effective approaches toward conservation and cleanup within the Clark Fork watershed. See more…
Montanore Mine seeks profit but squanders real treasure
Missoulian opinion editorial, 2/28/16
By Karen Knudsen and Bonnie Gestring (Earthworks): The U.S. Forest Service has given the proposed Montanore Mine in the pristine Cabinet Mountain Wilderness a green light to proceed, though it will de-water wilderness streams and bull trout strongholds for 1,300 years and violate Montana’s water quality laws. The days of mining at any cost are over. Montana DEQ and the Forest Service should simply say no. See more…
Snow and tell — student scientists at Washoe Park
Montana Standard, 2/17/16
Where does water come from? That’s a question 25 Anaconda High School students were learning to answer at Warm Springs Creek in Washoe Park Tuesday. […] Lily Haines, Clark Fork Coalition education coordinator, said the students would gain “flow literacy” from the learning experience. See more…
Snow and Tell brings students to Washoe Park (photos)
Montana Standard, 2/16/16
Anaconda High School earth science classes went on a field trip to Washoe Park in Anaconda to participate in a unique “Snow and Tell” program offed by the Clark Fork Coalition. Students learned about snowpack and regional water supply and how its measured (photo essay). See more…
2nd mine project nears approval near Noxon
“When it comes to mining in Montana, it’s important to get the full picture of the potential for long-lasting, cumulative damage to vital creeks and streams.” Clark Fork Coalition executive director Karen Knudsen said Friday. “The cumulative impact of two mines in this wilderness area, Montanore and the nearby Rock Creek Mine, is the elephant in the room, but no one at DEQ and the Forest Service seem to want to address it.” See more…
State and Federal Agencies Approve Mine Underneath Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in Northwest Montana
Earthworks blog, 2/12/16
State and federal agencies today approved the Montanore copper-silver mine proposed underneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwest Montana’s Kootenai National Forest. The mine project planned by Mines Management Inc. will disturb more than 1,500 acres adjacent to the Wilderness and remove up to 120 million tons of ore from tunnels that extend underneath it. See more…
Environmentalists push back on Gianforte’s call for industry leader for DEQ
Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for governor, wants “somebody from industry” running the state’s Department of Environmental Quality… Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, said that a call for someone from industry to run the agency “sets off a few alarm bells, for sure… What matters is that [the DEQ director] leads responsibly, with an eye toward a sustainable future, and in a way that upholds our constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment.” See more…
Orvis Announces Winners of 2016 Grants to Protect Nature
The Orvis Company, Inc. of Manchester, VT announced the three recipients of its annual Customer Matching Grant program: .. The Clark Fork Coalition, to support its Eight Gr8 Trout Streams campaign to re-water, rehabilitate and reconnect critical trout streams in Montana’s Upper Clark River Basin.tor for the Clark Fork Coalition.” See more…
Parrot tailings removal plan draws praise, criticism
Montana Standard, 1/17/16
Chris Brick, who traveled from Missoula to attend the meeting, said she commends the state for making this project a priority. Brick is the science director for the Clark Fork Coalition. “I don’t think our grandkids are going to look back on this and say, ‘What a dumb idea they took the tailings out.”See more…
Water protections up in the air after sale of Missoula utility
But the activity has “bewildered and baffled” those at the water watchdog, and Knudsen said the coalition plans to closely track court processes and those of the Montana Public Service Commission. The sale may or may not be legal, she said, but it illustrates a blatant disregard for local water users and the law.”See more…
Clark Fork River stakeholders trade arguments with DEQ in district court
TA group of stakeholders concerned with the Clark Fork River’s water quality presented their arguments Wednesday in Lewis and Clark County District Court, where they accused the Montana Department of Environmental Quality of acting arbitrarily when it issued a discharge permit to the new owner of a Frenchtown industrial site. See more…
EPA begins community plan for Smurfit site; hearing slated for District Court
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is drafting a community plan to help guide communication at the local level while testing plays out at the former Smurfit Stone Container Corp. site in Frenchtown… The plaintiffs also include the Clark Fork Coalition, the Missoula Valley Water Quality District and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.See more…
30 years on the river: Clark Fork Coalition observes anniversary with new projects
Ronald Reagan was in the White House, men wore frighteningly short shorts and Missoulians threw everything from crap to concrete in the Clark Fork River when a new organization decided some changes needed to happen. See more…
EPA announces agreement for testing at Frenchtown pulp mill site
Missoulian and KPAX, Channel 8, 11/19/15
The past and present owners of the former Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. mill site have agreed to begin testing the property for contamination… Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, also hailed the announcement as progress. It’s been five years since the mill shuttered, she said, and contaminants are believed to be moving through groundwater in the river. See more…
Scientist’s talk on El Nino, climate projects warmer winter
KECI, Channel 13 (NBC Montana),11/11/15
It was a packed house Wednesday at the Clark Fork Coalition offices in Missoula for Nick Silverman’s presentation on Montana climate. He largely echoed what other outlets have been saying for months, that Montana will likely see a warmer, drier winter than average due to the presence of El Nino. See more…
Clearing Camp: Cleaning up under Reserve Street proves no easy job
Missoula Independent, 10/29/15
..According to volunteer coordinator Katie Racette, one of the Clark Fork Coalition’s driving interests in helping with the effort is to ensure that potential pollutants are removed well before spring runoff.. “All those camps that we were cleaning up were either in dry channels or are on the floodplain,” Racette says. “When the spring runoff comes along, it would have washed out everything.” See more…
Restoration effort connects Modesty Creek to Clark Fork River for first time in 60 years
Missoulian and Montana Standard, 10/28/15
..On Tuesday, the Clark Fork Coalition’s stream restoration director, Will McDowell, gave a presentation about how the long-lost creek was finally able to achieve its historic goal of flowing uninterrupted to the main river channel. See more…
Volunteers remove tons of garbage from Reserve Street homeless camps
Just downstream from Missoula’s historic city dump, a hardy group of volunteers dangled their way into an until-now-untouched garbage patch.In what Clark Fork Coalition organizers called a “technical trash cleanup,” half a dozen people descended the 30-foot cliff along Broadway to pull junk out of the brush on Friday. See more…
Clark Fork stakeholders press EPA for action at former Smurfit mill site
On a bluff overlooking the Clark Fork River and a gallery of cottonwoods, a team of stakeholders considered the river’s sweeping bend, its seasonal ebb and flow, and the steady erosion of a narrow dike built in the 1950s. …“We know a river is more than its channel,” said Chris Brick, science director for the Clark Fork Coalition. “If you only have a river and a channel, then it’s not a river, it’s a ditch. We’d like to see the floodplain connected to the river.” See more…
Program teaches students soil sampling, testing
Montana Standard, 10/4/15
Freshman earth science students from Powell County High School conducted soil investigations on the Hans Lampert ranch near Galen during the [Clark Fork Coalition’s] Hands on the Ranch program held recently. See more…
Montana FWP biologist: Despite successes, bull trout populations still in peril
Ladd Knotek is disturbed by the lack of attention being paid to the many western Montana streams where bull trout populations are struggling to survive….Knotek was the featured presenter Friday for a discussion on restoration efforts and the importance of Rattlesnake Creek as a bull trout habitat. The event was organized by the Clark Fork Coalition, a nonprofit in Missoula that aims to protect water quality for the 22,000-square-mile Clark Fork River Basin. See more…
Creeks run dry as Montana drought worsens
KPAX Channel 8, 9/15/15
It’s one of the worst years ever for Lolo Creek, says Clark Fork Coalition project manager and Lolo resident Jeb Whitely, but not the first time this has happened. In three of the past five summers the creek has failed to reach the Bitterroot River by mid-August. “We work with people that have lived here 60 years,” said Whitely. “They say only recently did this start to regularly occur.” See more…
Volunteers rope up to clean up Clark Fork River in Missoula
Just downstream from Missoula’s historic city dump, a hardy group of volunteers dangled their way into an until-now-untouched garbage patch.In what Clark Fork Coalition organizers called a “technical trash cleanup,” half a dozen people descended the 30-foot cliff along Broadway to pull junk out of the brush on Friday. See more…
Coalition discusses efforts to protect, restore Lolo Creek
Missoulian and Ravalli Republic, 8/27/15; “Montana on the Ground” blog 8/26/15
“The dream of a wet, healthy, alive, connected, complex, cold and clean Lolo Creek is achievable,” said Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition. “But there are social, political, regulatory and financial hurdles we have to clear first.” The coalition held an educational tour at Travelers’ Rest State Park on Tuesday to discuss the challenges facing the creek.. See more…
Missoula groups, DEQ trade barbs in District Court over old Smurfit-Stone water permit
The health board, joined by the Missoula Valley Water Quality District, the Clark Fork Coalition and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, filed a motion for summary judgment against the DEQ in 1st Judicial District Court in Helena last month. See more…
Rock Creek: Stabilizing the Bank
Missoula Independent, 8/6/15
…While the magnitude of the project did prompt the Clark Fork Coalition to keep a close eye on it, Brick says the nonprofit recognizes the need to protect infrastructure and knows of King as an avid angler and conservationist. See more…
Despite Opposition, Forest Service Green Lights Montanore Mine
Flathead Beacon, 8/6/15
Groups like the Clark Fork Coalition and Earthworks have argued it is inappropriate to develop a mine underneath a wilderness area. See more…
Kootenai Forest finds Montanore mine in compliance despite objections
Missoulian, 7/29/15 – also covered on KAJ18 Kalispell Montana News
A proposed copper and silver mine between Libby and Noxon received approval to begin exploration work despite numerous problems with its environmental impact statement….Clark Fork Coalition executive director Karen Knudsen found that conclusion puzzling, given the U.S. Forest Service acknowledged many deficiencies in the final EIS. See more…
Flowing free: Ward Ditch Irrigation District’s Lost Horse Creek project a success
Ravalli Republic, 7/18/15
For the first time since the late 1930s, the cool, clear waters of Lost Horse Creek are finding their way to the Bitterroot River this summer… “This stretch would have been absolutely dry in years past,” Whiteley said as he looked toward the confluence of Lost Horse Creek with the Bitterroot River. “This is probably the first time there’s been water running here in late July since 1938. It’s almost unbelievable.” See more…
Stand Up Paddleboarding Taking Stand Against Trash
ABC Fox News, 7/14/15 and KURL, Billings
With the increased fun of river season comes increased trash strewn in the water… Two local groups – the Clark Fork Coalition and Standup Paddle Boarding, or SUP, Missoula – are taking a stand – so to speak. See more…
Clark Fork River cleanup brings new life to headwaters
Just east of the Racetrack exit off Interstate 90, the Clark Fork River is undergoing a major remodeling job… This area was a lush willow shrub community with lots of grasses,” Clark Fork Coalition stream restoration director Will McDowell said of the work site … “But in places, it was so contaminated there were blue-green spots where nothing would grow. This is a gigantic transformation from what was here before.” See more…
River survey seeks ways to beautify Clark Fork through urban Missoula
Missoulian, 6/12/15: “People are flocking to the river on hot summer days, because it’s the place to be,” said Chris Brick, science director of the Clark Fork Coalition, one of the participants in a city/ county/ business/ organization roundtable of Missoulians working on the effort. “We’ve still got rip-rap made of old chunks of concrete with rebar sticking out. We’re a river town. Let’s do right by the river.” See more.
Environmentalists Add Support to Development
ABC Fox Montana, 6/10/15: After Missoula’s city council gave the “green light” to develop the riverfront triangle along seven miles of the Clark Fork river environmental groups are responding… Chris Brick, a Clark Fork Coalition representative, explained “…there are a lot of tools that they could use for river smart development that would both bring people to the river and improve the river itself.” See more.
Federal bull trout recovery plan ready for public review
The Missoulian, 6/2/15: The draft master plan for removing bull trout from Endangered Species Act protection was released at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, after 16 years of work and protracted legal battles… Critics such as Clark Fork Coalition stream restoration manager Will McDowell said a draft version released last September raised troubling questions. See more.
EPA sees testing this summer for Frenchtown mill contamination
KPAX Channel 8, 6/1/15: Staffers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff are close to reaching an agreement which could determine whether contamination should delay redevelopment of the old Smurfit Stone mill site following years of uncertainty….. But the Clark Fork Coalition and county leaders, are equally worried about the integrity of settling ponds along the river, with fears a flood-driven breach could release pollutants downriver. See more.
Montana Groups React To Federal Water Pollution Rule
Montana Public Radio, 5/27/15: A revised federal water pollution rule issued today is earning praise from Montana conservationists and condemnation from the agriculture and building sectors. The staff scientist for the Missoula-based Clark Fork Coalition, Chris Brick, says this revision offers important safeguards. “We all live downstream. We all depend on clean water.” See more.
Hellgate Canyon osprey being monitored for mercury exposure
KPAX Channel 8, 5/18/15: University of Montana Wildlife Biology Professor Erick Greene leads the long term study of the Hellgate Canyon osprey. Greene says the female osprey, Iris, has called this site home since 2007. Greene and the Clark Fork Coalition held a public forum Monday to give citizens an update on the birds’ status, and a dangerous contaminant that is affecting them. See more.
Osprey tour tied to Clark Fork River environment, tour Monday shows why
Missoulian, 5/16/15: The Clark Fork Coalition will sponsor a free event Monday to help educate Missoula residents about the connection between osprey and contaminants – specifically mercury – in local river ecosystems. University of Montana wildlife biology professor Erick Greene will speak at the event at the Hellgate Canyon osprey nest, located near the new Missoula College site. See more.
Rattlesnake Elementary students reforest their namesake creek
Missoulian, 5/13/15: While professional gardeners at the PEAS Farm bustled about their spring chores Tuesday, an entirely different level of gardening was taking place along Rattlesnake Creek, 15 feet below. “This could use a bit more soil,” Clark Fork Coalition outreach coordinator Ellie Rial told a group of Rattlesnake Elementary School boys gathered around a foot-deep hole. See more.
Missoula County reaffirms commitment to South Avenue bridge project
Missoulian, 4/23/15: There are plenty more decisions to be made before a new bridge is built over the lower Bitterroot River…. Barbara Chilcott, legal director for the Clark Fork Coalition, said her group hasn’t taken a position on the new bridge but urged the commissioners to commit to a proper assessment of the environmental impacts. See more.
Volunteers help clean Missoula’s Clark Fork River
KPAX Channel 8, 4/18/15: The 12th annual Clark Fork Coalition River Cleanup happened Saturday to kick off the upcoming Earth Day. See more.
As Prospects Improve, Litigation Still Threatens Mining Projects
Flathead Beacon, 4/7/15: “The Cabinet Mountains could be hit hard from both sides (if these projects are approved and built),” said Chris Brick, science director of the Clark Fork Coalition in Missoula. See more.
Grass Valley irrigation company creates Montana’s first private water bank
Missoulian, 4/4/15: “Water banks like Grass Valley’s will facilitate new residential development in a way that protects existing water users and streamflows,” said Karen Knudsen, director of the Clark Fork Coalition, which is partnering with the company to meet the DNRC-required monitoring component of delivering mitigation water. See more.
Carlyle director says he was warned off selling water utility to city
Missoulian, 4/3/15: …Karen Knudsen said Kappes had requested a meeting with her last May and told her Carlyle didn’t plan to prohibit a future owner of Mountain from bottling water, as Carlyle had promised in a signed letter that protected local water from diversion. See more.
Testimony: Carlyle didn’t plan to negotiate with Missoula mayor
Missoulian, 4/3/15: …A managing director of The Carlyle Group said he had no plans to negotiate a sale of Mountain Water Co. to the city of Missoula, according to witness testimony based on an early 2014 memo. See more.
Carlyle Group wants utility free to bottle, sell Missoula’s water
Missoulian, 3/27/15: The Carlyle Group wants the possibility of bottling Missoula water back on the table in the proposed sale of Mountain Water Co., according to testimony Friday from the Clark Fork Coalition. Read more.
Tribal water compact moving through Montana legislature
High Country News, 3/27/15: On Feb. 16, in a Montana Senate hearing in Helena, legislators listened for over five hours as more than 200 people testified on the Salish and Kootenai tribes’ last chance to pass what may be the most important water rights compact in Montana history. … “While the state is trying to negotiate the best possible settlement for the state of Montana, people are questioning the very basis of the (tribes’) right to have water rights,” says Barbara Chillcott, legal director for the environmental advocacy group Clark Fork Coalition.. Read more.
Kennecott to resume copper exploration at site east of Missoula
Missoulian, 2/18/15: Kennecott Utah Copper will be back in Union Creek near Potomac in 2015 to resume early exploration operations for a promising vein of copper… Read more.
Rattlesnake Creek: $10M asset, water security at stake in Missoula’s takeover effort
Missoulian, 2/14/15: …Barbara Chillcott, a lawyer for the Clark Fork Coalition, said in the early 1980s, Mountain Water made the case that accessing the Rattlesnake rights via groundwater was the same as drawing from the surface water… Read more.
Parties: PSC should hold off on hearing proposed sale of Mountain Water
Missoulian, 1/14/15: The city of Missoula and the Clark Fork Coalition are calling on state regulators to stop proceedings in the proposed Mountain Water Co. sale. Read more.
Breaking ground: County hails new $30 million sewer, water plants
Montana Standard, 12/9/14: Plant Manager Frank Shields and representatives of the Clark Fork Coalition and Trout Unlimited hailed the upgrades as big steps toward a cleaner creek and environment. Read more.
Some worry treatment plant won’t keep Berkeley Pit water in check
Billings Gazette, 11/9/14: “In perpetuity is hard to fathom,” said Chris Brick, science director of the Clark Fork Coalition, the group largely involved in the removal of the Milltown Dam. Read more.
Maintain river’s aesthetic appeal
Missoulian, 11/4/14: Letters to the editor written by Missoula-area elementary school students who attended the Clark Fork Coalition’s 2014 Kids River Expo. Read more.
Missoula City Council amends ordinance, continues majority support
NBC Montana, 11/3/14: “We believe municipal ownership will prevent the permanent ownership of our water rights in the hands of an investor-driven out-of-state corporation that exists to generate profits,” said Clark Fork Coalition Legal Director Barbara Chilcott. Read more.
Smurfit site owners ask for more time to submit cleanup plan
KPAX Channel 8, 11/3/14: Conservation groups like the Clark Fork Coalition, and Missoula County are concerned about how chemicals left behind from decades of the mill’s operation could be impacting the river and groundwater.
Lost Horse to run free after irrigation district siphons water under creek
Missoulian, 11/2/14: A few years ago, the Clark Fork Coalition began working with the irrigation district to seek out funding for the project forecast to cost nearly $500,000. Read more.
DEQ sued on wastewater permit
The Western News, 10/24/14: The Missoula City-County Health Board, the Missoula Valley Water Quality District, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the Clark Fork Coalition filed the lawsuit against the Department of Enviornmental Quality in District Court in Helena this week. Read more.
Missoula, CSKT lawsuit blasts DEQ for ‘absurd’ Clark Fork River pollution permit
Missoulian, 10/23/14: “It’s hard to imagine how this permit, which maximizes pollution allowed in the river, fits in with the good work now underway to restore the Clark Fork,” says Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, one of the plaintiffs. Read more.
Judge strikes down Montana exempt-well rule
Billings Gazette,10/20/14: In 2009, the Clark Fork Coalition and a group of ranchers petitioned the state to close what they characterized as a loophole in the water permitting requirements. Read more.
Musician Clouse, Clark Fork Coalition’s Knudsen, other get conversation awards
Missoulian, 10/17/14: Karen Knudsen received the Bolle Award. Knudsen is director of the Clark Fork Coalition and serves on numerous other conservation organizations, including Carpe Diem West and Watershed Restoration Coalition. Read more.
Dispute over exempt water wells back in court
Billings Gazette, 9/23/14: An environmental group is asking a judge to force the state to change a rule that exempts residential subdivisions from water permit rules. Read more.
Crews clear wreckage, chemical spill from Hwy 200
NBC Montana, 7/23/14: The Clark Fork and the Blackfoot rivers are open again tonight, after a semi-truck crashed and sent industrial soap chemicals into the water…News of the chemical spill got a quick reaction from the Clark Fork Coalition. Read more.
Act now, before tragic rail accident
Missoulian, 7/18/14: This time it was just planes. A surreal scene of wingless giants protruding from the Clark Fork River near Alberton; but no injuries, no spills and a river none the worse for wear. We got lucky. Read more.
Waste discharge permit renewed for closed plant
Montana Public Radio, 5/28/14: A year ago this month, the Environmental Protection Agency recommended a comprehensive Superfund cleanup for the 32-hundred acre industrial site that housed the former Smurfit-Stone pulp and paper mill… A public briefing today presented by the Clark Fork Coalition advances the story on a couple of different fronts. Read more.
Previously at city’s side, Clark Fork Coalition quiet on Mountain Water case
Missoulian and Ravalli Republic, 5/28/14: The Clark Fork Coalition took a lead supporting role in 2011 when the city of Missoula backed the sale of Mountain Water Co. to a global investment firm – with the idea The Carlyle Group would sell to the city in the future. Read more.
County, owners continue tussle over cleanup at Frenchtown mill site
Missoulian, 5/28/14: Activity has ceased around the former Smurfit-Stone Container paper mill south of Frenchtown, but paperwork continues to swirl around the site. Read more.
Missoula Independent, 5/21/14: The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Clark Fork Coalition are also protesting. Each requests an oversight body. Read more.
Volunteers help cleanup the Clark Fork River
KPAX TV, 4/21/14: The annual volunteer clean-up is hosted by the Clark Fork Coalition, with Executive Director Karen Knudsen saying that the river is so accessible, that also means it’s very vulnerable to a lot of harm.
Roughly a thousand volunteers turn out for Clark Fork cleanup
KECI, NBC Montana, 4/19/14: Volunteers estimate they pulled roughly five tons of trash from the Clark Fork River in Missoula on Saturday. It was all part of the Clark Fork Coalition’s annual river cleanup event. Read more.
Human, snotel numbers at Lolo Pass match, indicate wet spring ahead
KECI, NBC Montana, 4/19/14: With the help of Clark Fork Coalition volunteer coordinator Kascie Herron, volunteers assemble a set of hollow probes into a long core sampler. Read more.
Students get hands-on Clark Fork River lesson
Montana Standard, 4/15/13: Learning about the Clark Fork River sometimes means getting in it. It’s all part of the Hands on the Ranch watershed education program sponsored by the Clark Fork Coalition. Read more.
Clark Fork Coalition, Poverello Center join to clean up homeless camps
Missoulian, 4/2/14: Over the past few weeks, members of the Clark Fork Coalition and the Poverello Center have scouted a popular homeless encampment below Missoula’s Reserve Street Bridge ahead of a cleanup planned for Saturday. Read more.
Clark Fork headwaters will be fishing destination after lifeless century, experts say
Missoulian, 3/13/14: The headwaters of the Clark Fork River should soon become a popular fishing destination after more than a century of lifelessness, fishing guides learned Wednesday at the Clark Fork Coalition offices. Read more.
Missoula Co. won’t back Superfund extension on Frenchtown mill
KPAX TV, 2/28/14: The Clark Fork Coalition in particular is worried about the amount of contaminants that might be around the holding ponds. The Coalition is worried the river could breach the old dikes and berms.
Comment period closing for Fish Creek State Park development
KPAX TV, 2/7/14: The Clark Fork Coalition is worried FWP is making plans that could impact the Fish Creek ecosystem.