Gallatin River Task Force and Big Sky Resort to Partner for Middle Fork of the West Fork Restoration Project
On Tuesday, October 5, crews will begin work on a stream restoration project on the middle Fork West Fork Gallatin river as it flows out of lake levinsky, adjacent to Big Sky resort. i
n partnership with Big Sky resort, the Gallatin river Task Force (GrTF) will lead the project, phase one of a multi-part restoration effort along the middle Fork.
“The middle Fork is one of three impaired streams running through our headwaters community, slowing the flow of water and reconnecting the stream to the floodplain by way of beaver dam analogs and other natural restoration techniques is another step toward improving the stream’s water quality,” says Emily O’Connor, conservation director for GrTF. “As a community, we’ve identified sustainability and water conservation as key objectives. This project is helping us reach those goals.
” With funding from the Big Sky resort Area District, the moonlight Community Foundation, and the montana Watershed Coordination Council’s Watershed Fund supported by the montana Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , the middle Fork project represents collaborative efforts toward shared community goals. “The middle Fork stream restoration project will enhance habitat, mitigate drought conditions, and improve healthy water resources in Big Sky,” says Amy Trad, Big Sky resort’s sustainability specialist. “Our collaborative effort with the Gallatin river Task Force on rehabilitation is an important part of preserving our ecosystem, one of the core principles of the ForeverProject, the resort’s long-term roadmap for sustainability.”
Construction on this phase of the restoration project is expected to take 3-4 days. Once complete, it will serve as an example for future restoration efforts. Students from montana State University will visit the site for on-theground learning that is difficult to replicate in the classroom. “The class will be looking at the middle Fork project as an example of the type of projects that contribute to the restoration of ecological processes, and the improvement of stream conditions,” says professor Sam Carlson, PhD. “Successful restoration projects don’t happen accidentally, so we will be particularly interested in the process of designing this and future restoration projects.”
Further restoration of the middle Fork is planned for the next few years, with sites already identified. To support these efforts, contact GrTF managing director ryan newcomb at firstname.lastname@example.org.