Help Protect Streams on Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest

Posted: 11/30/2015
By: Kevin Colburn

The Lewis and Clark National Forest (MT) is updating the inventory of streams they protect as "eligible" for Wild and Scenic designation. To be eligible a stream reach must be undammed and have at least one rare, unique, or exemplary value that is regionally or nationally significant. This marks an incredible opportunity for the paddling community to help protect rivers on the Rocky Mountain Front, in the Upper Blackfoot and Little Blackfoot watersheds, and in the Big Belts, Little Belts, Highwoods, and Snowies.

The Forest Service has proposed a roster of 40 outstanding and well-deserving streams for protection, 29 of which have not previously been protected. You can check out their list of streams and values on page 18-20 of their eligibility study, or by viewing their online interactive map.  

You can help support their analysis or propose additional streams for protection from dams and other impacts by filing a comment with the Forest Service highlighting the stream's special values. You can comment on the Draft Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Study three ways:

  1. You may email your comments to
  2. You may send your comments via postal mail to:
    Liz Van Genderen
    Helena National Forest
    2880 Skyway Dr.
    Helena, MT  59602
  3. You may leave comments through the Talking Points Collaborative Mapping Tool


Comments are due by December 15th, 2015.

American Whitewater is participating in the forest planning process for the Lewis and Clark National Forest, and is in the process of developing comments on the Draft Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Study. If you know any of these streams through your own explorations on foot or by boat, please share your views and experiences with the Forest Service. 

Need a little inspiration? Check out a couple of the great streams being considered for additional protection:

Wild and Scenic Montana, Episode 5: South Fork of Birch Creek from American Whitewater on Vimeo.

Wild and Scenic Montana, Episode 4: Dearborn River from American Whitewater on Vimeo.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!