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State of The State

Montana River Action State Of The State's Rivers
February 2008 edition
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Much of the info in this publication
(748 Kb) is an update to MRA web pages on this site. Additional information and topics are also on this web site.
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The state of
Montana Rivers
Click for a report...
Beaverhead & Clark Canyon Reservoir

Big Blackfoot
Big Hole
Clark Fork of the Columbia
(Silver Bow Creek)
(Mill Town Dam)
(Rock Creek Mine)
Dearborn River
Gallatin / Big Sky

Kootenai River

(Hebgen Lake)
Prairie Streams in Eastern Montana
Prickly Pear Creek

Rattlesnake Creek

Letter From MRA President

Your Support Makes The Difference
Join MRA

River Watchers Needed

MRA's History

Board Of Directors & Affiliations

Prayer For Montana

Links To Water Info & Maps

List: All MRA Web Pages

Montana River Action
304 N 18th Avenue
Bozeman MT 59715
Phone: 406-587-9181

Vision Statement

Montana River Action strives to lead the ever-growing grassroots effort to preserve, protect, enhance, and restore Montana's rivers, water bodies and their watersheds for their natural, recreational, and cultural values.

As the only statewide organization focusing exclusively on watershed conservation, MRA will work extensively with federal, state, and tribal agencies, private landowners, the agricultural community, fellow conservation organizations, and all other entities whose activities affect our precious water resources and our use of them.

MRA will involve itself in all watershed issues, encourage education on watershed conservation and management, and promote advocacy for those public concerns growing out of increased awareness of Montana's fragile watershed systems.

MRA will use volunteer efforts, specific programs, and cooperative projects to foster healthy aquatic ecosystems and the public support necessary for their appropriate use and continued survival for generations to come.

Montana River Action

The clean flowing waters of Montana belong to the people and are held in trust by the State for a pollution-free healthful environment guaranteed by our Montana Constitution. Montana River Action’s mission is to protect and restore rivers, streams and other water bodies.

Montana State LegislatureNew: Montana River Action is re-introducing a bill for Instream Flows
Instream Flows for Dewatered Important Fisheries 2015
Bill is remedy for dewatering of 4,734 miles of Important Fisheries each year.

Montana State LegislatureSummary of proposed bill...
Instream Flows for Dewatered Important Fisheries

Montana State LegislatureMRA Comments to Water Policy Interim Committee on Draft Report “Boiling It Down”
PDF Document
PDF version
Also, see Montana Legislature’s WPIC web page.

Dearborn River
Report on the Dearborn River – Current Conditions of the Watershed
The headwaters drain the eastern half of Scapegoat Wilderness in heart of Rocky Mountain Front
By volunteer Montana Rivers Watcher, Adam Johnson

Gallatin River, Central Park
Gallatin River — Outstanding Resource Water

We now have the opportunity to designate Montana's first ORW -- and save it from being used as a sewage mixing zone.

Coal To Liquid Synfuels
Is it clean technology with little environmental impact?

Rock Creek on the Clark Fork Subdivision
Out-of-state, developer told locals he was an environmentalist but then...

Water Law
To retain its purity Montana water must be protected by municipal, county, state and federal laws.

The Stream Access Law
Provides wealth of opportunities with little inconvenience to streamside landowners

A History Of Stream Access
" of the State and for the use of its people." -- Montana Constitution

On The RocksSmith River Special Privilege for Landowners
Landowners adjacent to the Smith River have applied to the Montana State Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission for a ruling.

Vision For The Montana State Legislature

Detwatered Streams of MontanaKeeping Water In Streams
4,222 miles of Montana streams on 381 different rivers and creeks are chronically or periodically dewatered each year

Law suit settled over Montana’s Water Quality
EPA forced to insist that Montana DEQ establish stream standards and cleanup plans

Removing The Dam At Milltown
Holding back 8 million cubic yards of toxic mining sediments

Musselshell RiverMusselshell - An Endangered River
Most destroyed river in Montana

Coal-fired Power Plants & The Roundup Project
Roundup will be exempt from regulation by Public Service Commission. Montana would become boiler room of the West.

Big Sky DevelopmentBig Sky Developers Violate Natural Resource Laws
Tim Blixseth's Yellowstone Club, Moonlight Basin, Gallatin Peaks fined, make repairs.

Coal Bed Methane Defeated At Bozeman Pass
Good news! J. M. Huber Corp. has given up its effort to pursue coalbed methane drilling in the pass area

Coal Bed Methane Development in Montana
The wave of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) development that hit Montana recently will have huge impacts in the years ahead.

I-147 Defeated
Intended to return open-pit, cyanide heap-leach mining

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Bozeman Fish Technology Center
Much has changed since the early days--including the mission.

Cold WaterTrout Need Cold Water
To keep streams cool we must keep soils cool.


Arctic GraylingArctic Grayling
Big Hole River is home to last self-sustaining, stream-living, native population in the lower 48. Will they be delisted?

A species older than dinosaurs living in the Missouri and lower Yellowstone's roiling waters.

Pallid Sturgeon Of The Missouri
If nothing is done to replenish their numbers, they will become extinct.

Save the Missouri River Breaks

Missouri BreaksMissouri River Breaks National Monument Questioned

Stream Water FallPollution Dilution Not A Solution

Total Maximum Daily Load

The Clean Water Act and TMDL

Using the Conservation Reserve Program for Cleaner Streams
A strategy for restoring riparian wetlands and native plants by creating a filter strip along a stream for trapping farm sediment and agricultural chemicals.

Wisdom On The Big Hole
Town trying to raise money to move sewage lagoons out of river flood plain

Wells MapSeptic Tanks & Sewage Treatment
The three maps -- Billings, Bozeman and Missoula illustrate individual wells drilled.

Montana's real estate booms create a mountain of sewage.

Flathead Lake Pollution The plan recently drafted by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for pollution reduction in the north half of Flathead Lake merely relies on voluntary measures

Superfund Site Designation
Montana has nine Superfund sites the EPA has designated

Toxic pesticides in stream sediments and aquatic organisms are persistent

Impaired Waters MapToxic Substances in the Environment
In 1998 Montana ranked 20th in the nation in the amount of toxic substances released by manufacturers.

Whirling DiseaseWhirling Disease

New Zealand Mud Snails in Madison
Mud snails in the Madison River probably came over on a fisherman's waders, picked up in the mud of New Zealand. The snails are very tiny and highly reproductive.

Yellowstone River Diversion Dam
The Pennsylvania Power and Light Company is applying for permits to place 8-foot long, 5-foot high triangular concrete blocks, end to end, to form a 272-foot long dam across the west channel of the Yellowstone River near Billings.

Yellowstone RiverSaving the Yellowstone River

Mining1872 Mining Law
The 1872 Mining Law is on the books, identical today as it was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant.

Mining Reclamation

The mining industry is the top toxic polluter in Montana. The industry should be made to pay up front.

Federal Government Gold Policies
The federal government continues to hold 8,600 tons of national gold reserves. Selling significant portions of gold reserves could result in a huge financial payoff to taxpayers and prevent future environmental disasters.

Water Quality -- Strengthening and Enforcement
The 1995 legislature weakened Montana's water quality laws

Water FlowWeakened Water Law
Water Allocation Law now takes Precedence over Environment

Dewatered Streams of MontanaWater and Instream Flow

Murphy Water Rights

Water Leasing for Instream Flows

Montana Power Company logoThe Failure Of Montana Power Company
How could this happen? The historic blunder began when the energy Deregulation Bill was passed by the 1997 Legislature.


Methods to Protect Rivers and Streams

Acquiring Private Lands in River Corridors

Smart Water Use

The Future Of Life
E.O. Wilson says...

Bud LillyBud Lilly Honored
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