Middle Clark Fork

The Middle Clark Fork—a 105-mile stretch of river between the Blackfoot confluence, also called “Place of the big bull trout” by Salish people, and the Flathead confluence—includes the urban stretch in Missoula (Montana’s second-largest city), whitewater in the Alberton Gorge, and many high-mountain wilderness creeks like Grant Creek—also known as “Little wide creek you can cross.” These gravel-bed rivers and streams are incredibly dynamic and support disproportionately high levels of biodiversity.

The Middle Clark Fork also supports nearly 120,000 people. It is a well-loved river that runs through the heart of downtown Missoula and draws thousands of recreationists to its waters and banks. In the last century, it has seen rapid development. Industrial logging, large-scale agriculture, and pulp mill operations have left their mark on the river.

Our focus in the Middle Clark Fork

Foster and advocate for a community-wide water ethic that makes cleanup, restoration, and protection of community waterways a central goal in the face of rapid growth and landscape change.

Today, the Middle Clark Fork has recovered much of its health, but ongoing efforts to address legacy pollution and mitigate the effects of a large population continue. The Coalition helps educate community members on responsible river use, runs volunteer programs to engage people in restoration and stewardship, and advocates for local policies that protect the river and its tributaries as the city continues to grow.

You Can Help

Become a fellow champion of the Clark Fork Watershed.

Through our collective efforts, the river can flow with clean, cold, abundant water so that nature can flourish and our communities can thrive. We invite you to become a fellow champion of the Clark Fork Watershed.