Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MT Nature Benefits from Stream Bed Restoration

The Big Hole Valley in Southwest Montana is home to some of the most picturesque and productive ranches in the state. The "Big Hole" grazes more cattle than any other county in the U.S. The beautiful Big Hole River meanders through this large, high elevation valley surrounded by snow capped peaks. The 100+ year old cattle & hay outfits have been passed down through several generations. The ranching traditions here run deep, but recently, area ranchers teamed up with the state of Montana to help wildlife that share their most precious resources, the water.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks worked to educate some Big Hole Valley ranchers on stream bed restoration. A Bozeman area filmmaker produced a film highlighting the cooperative efforts of these groups restoring the streams shared by livestock and wildlife, specifically, the rare Arctic Grayling. The film, "Fish & Cow, Restoring the Upper Big Hole", sponsored by the Nature Conservancy, was finalist at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

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Photos by Wayne Mumford for the Nature Conservancy

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