The Montana Headwaters Campaign is a creative grassroots approach to conserving some of Montana's and the continents most incredible rivers. American Whitewater is one of the champions of this issue, along with our partners in Montanans for Healthy Rivers. We began having conversations with organizations and individuals who care about the State's rivers in 2010, and have thoughtfully built support for a river conservation initiative since that time. In the fall of 2013 we co-hosted four Community River Forums across the state to discuss conservation opportunities, priorities, and concerns in Whitefish, Missoula, Bozeman, and Red Lodge.
As a coalition we support community-driven conservation initiatives that benefit rivers like the North Fork Protection Act and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, as well as exploring and promoting locally-supported Wild and Scenic River designations and other river conservation opportunities. We also encourage responsible protection of river that are eligible for Wild and Scenic designation by the US Forest Service.
Learn more about these and other efforts at www.healthyriversmt.org
Check out a few fun videos to learn more about Montana's incredible and often under-protected rivers:
August 2, 2018, the President's signature marked the exciting finale of nearly a decade of efforts to protect Montana's East Rosebud Creek from hydropower development and other impacts. Twenty miles of this beautiful stream were designated as a Wild and Scenic River as it flows from the rugged Beartooth Mountains between Big Timber and Red Lodge, Montana. East Rosebud is treasured by local residents, paddlers, anglers, hikers, and other visitors.
The Senate yesterday passed Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte’s bill that protects 20 miles of the East Rosebud in south-central Montana as part of the Wild and Scenic River System. Here at American Whitewater we are overjoyed by the bill's passage, and would like to thank the entire Montana delegation for working together in a bi-partisan way to protect this wonderful stream.
Earlier today Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte introduced legislation to designate Montana’s East Rosebud Creek as a Wild and Scenic River! The bill matches bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this year by Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018, this popular bill is now well positioned for passage if the Montana delegation can shepherd it through Congress. We’d like to thank the delegation for championing this bill!
Next month marks the 40th anniversary of the designation of Montana's four Wild and Scenic Rivers (3 Flathead Forks + the Missouri). We now have a once-in-a-generation chance to expand on that incredible legacy of river conservation in Montana. Take action to support new river protections on the Flathead National Forest this week!
The Flathead National Forest is a treasure trove of whitewater paddling thanks to the three forks of the Wild and Scenic Flathead River, the Swan River, and many robust tributaries. Today, the Forest released their new inventory of streams they intend to protect as eligible for future Wild and Scenic designation. The inventory includes 22 outstanding streams, 10 of which are new eligible streams totalling 125 river miles. These streams were recommended for protection by American Whitewater, our partners in Montanans for Healthy Rivers, and citizens from across the state and country.
Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest is updating the inventory of rivers they protect as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation. Paddler comments on these streams on the Rocky Mountain Front and other great parts of Montana can help protect some of the state's most outstanding streams from dams and other potential impacts. Comments are due by December 15th, and make great Christmas presents for Montana rivers!
The Flathead National Forest has released the list of streams they propose to protect as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation in their forthcoming revised Forest Plan. Paddlers with opinions on the list are encouraged to send the Forest an email or letter before the May 15, 2015 comment deadline. Your comment could help protect spectacular rivers and streams.
Earlier this month Montana's Kootenai National Forest found Callahan and Ross creeks to be eligible for Wild and Scenic designation in response to an appeal crafted by American Whitewater. This decision will protect these two awesome streams from hydropower development for current and future generations. The Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle national forests however left many worthy streams unprotected, and disregarded paddling values on several incredible streams.
The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.
A collaborative report on the eligibility of streams for Wild and Scenic River designation on Forest Service lands in Montana.
Help Protect Flathead River Tributaries (MT)
September 26, 2016
Congressman Gianforte Introduces East Rosebud Wild & Scenic Bill (MT)
December 14, 2017
East Rosebud Creek is a New Wild and Scenic River!
August 3, 2018