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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.


  • In 2011 we produced the first ever statewide report outlining rivers that are currently or are strong candidates for protection as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation by the US Forest Service.
  • In 2013 our efforts to defeat proposed hydropower dams on East Rosebud Creek, West Rosebud Creek, and the Madison River proved successful when the developer withdrew their exploratory permits.
  • We worked to have the Water Resources Reform and Development Act passed in 2014 which includes significant financial resources for the state, counties, municipalities, and individuals to voluntarily protect and restore rivers on private lands.
  • In 2014 we helped inspire the introduction of legislation to designate East Rosebud Creek as a Wild and Scenic River

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: