The Central Clark Fork Basin Needs a Watershed Restoration Plan. Why?
Because a Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP) analyzes a watershed’s problems and develops a strategic plan to improve water quality, aquatic habitat, and watershed functions in a cost effective way. Once a WRP is accepted by MT Department of Environmental Quality, watershed stakeholders can apply for funding to carry out the plan.
As you can see from the maps linked here, the Central Clark Fork (from Flint Creek to the Flathead River) is almost the only part of the Clark Fork basin that does not have an approved WRP.
Time to get cracking!
To make this planning process as efficient as possible, watershed groups, federal, state and local agencies, and others are working together to summarize and provide technical information needed for this process. In addition, these groups will gather feedback from basin stakeholders like you at meetings over the coming year and through an ONLINE SURVEY. The feedback needed from you includes:
- Have we identified the key water problems that you think need to be addressed?
- What are your priorities for addressing these water problems?
- How can you help?
To inform your answers, here are links to short summaries of key documents about the Central Clark Fork :
- Central Clark Fork tributaries TMDL & Water Quality Restoration Plan
- Clark Fork River Voluntary Nutrient Reduction plan & subsequent monitoring reports
- Silverbow Creek & Clark Fork River Metals TMDL (TMDL means a pollution load study)
- Status of the closed pulp mill on the river near Frenchtown
- Ninemile Creek WRP (example of a WRP)
- Minutes of a 2018 meeting of technical stakeholders to identify key issues
NOTE: A series of stakeholder meetings were held at various locations in the watershed from November 2018 to August 2019. Input from those meetings have been summarized and used to develop a first draft of the Central Clark Fork Watershed Restoration Plan. This draft will be presented at a public meeting on November 15, 2019 at the University of Montana’s University Center, room 330. The draft plan will be presented at 2:30 pm, followed by Q&A and facilitated discussion. Then at 5:30, the presentation, Q&A & discussion will be repeated for those who come after work.
If you plan to attend one of the above meetings or have questions about the WRP, contact:
Dr. Vicki Watson, UM Professor Emeritus, Clark Fork Coalition Science Advisor and Clark Fork Kootenai River Basins Council member