Clark Fork Coalition
Protecting and restoring the Clark Fork watershed since 1985

Clark Fork Named One of America's Most Endangered Rivers.

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Our Work

Grant Creek Restoration

With new, intensive development happening along its lower reaches, the future of Grant Creek depends on community investment in the creek’s rich cultural and ecological functions before it’s too late. Right now, we have an amazing opportunity for holistic, headwaters-to-confluence restoration and protection of this native trout stream and wilderness corridor.

The goal of our Restore Grant Creek Campaign is to heal the creek where it has been harmed, re-naturalize it where it needs greater resilience, and protect it where its waters are still pristine.

Elsewhere in the Clark Fork watershed, we have seen the amazing recovery that’s possible when communities come together on behalf of the rivers they love. A community-driven Grant Creek restoration process can do the same by bringing people together to ensure the best possible future for our hardworking urban streams and the people, fish, and wildlife they sustain.

A Rich and Ancient History

To the Salish and Kootenai people its name is “Nɫɫq̓esuʔl̓m,” the “Little Wide Creek You Can Cross.” For millennia, it guided elders on their annual journey to the bitterroot-rich meadows of the Missoula valley. Much later, white settlers renamed it after Richard Grant, whose farm provided horses, cattle, and timber for the region’s miners, trappers, and builders. From its pristine beginnings in the Rattlesnake Wilderness, through its troubled traverse of commercial, residential, and agricultural lands, to its modest meeting with the Clark Fork River, Grant Creek embodies western Montana’s complex relationship with the waterways that define it.

The Grant Creek Working Group

The Grant Creek Working Group was established in 2022 by Clark Fork Coalition. It includes private and public stakeholders, landowners, development interests, and conservation allies to advise local government on creek projects. The group meets monthly to collaborate across the watershed on identifying core values and interests along with technical and ecological information.

In October of 2022, the group delivered recommendations for the project on Grant Creek at Horseshoe Bend to the City of Missoula Public Works Department. The recommendations emphasize the importance of transforming the existing narrow deep channel of lower Grant Creek into a broad natural floodplain which will store floodwaters, lower flood elevations and velocities, and provide the basis for all the other physical, ecological, and social benefits of a restored natural channel.

In October of 2023, the group finalized the Vision and Strategy for Restoring Grant Creek. This document outlines key goals and values for headwaters to confluence restoration. It then went to partners at the City of Missoula, Missoula County, and the Missoula Conservation District for review and approval.

You can help

Your gift supports restoration, volunteer projects, community education, and more. Let’s restore Grant Creek and bring back Missoula’s forgotten wilderness creek.

Sub Basin(s)