Want to learn more about how to restore a river?
On Thursday, March 3rd from 4 to 6 PM at the Lone Mountain Ranch Saloon, the Gallatin River Task Force will be hosting an Après Q&A on the upcoming stream restoration project at Moose Creek Flat Recreation Area. Representatives from the Gallatin River Task Force, RESPEC consulting, and the Custer Gallatin National Forest will be available to answer questions about the project. The event is sponsored by Lone Mountain Ranch and Natalie’s Estate Winery.
If you can’t make it, or can’t wait to learn more, read on.
After two years of planning and input from river users, the Moose Creek restoration project is scheduled to break ground in Fall 2016. Moose Creek is a heavily trafficked public day use area exhibiting signs of overuse that include severe erosion and streamside vegetation damage.
The goals of the project are to reduce erosion of fine sediment to the Gallatin River, improve fish and aquatic insect habitat, and improve river access through development of designated approaches to the river for use by private parties and commercial outfitters.
The restored Moose Creek Flat Recreation Area will include:
- 723 feet of streambank stabilization
- 8,177 square feet of floodplain plantings
- 855 feet of trails
- 4,393 square feet of hardened boat access structure
- 450 feet of fencing
- 1 educational interpretive sign about river ecology and how to minimize human impact
The Moose Creek Restoration Project is just the beginning of a long-term partnership between the Task Force and the Forest Service. Over the next decade, the Task Force and Forest Service plan to rehabilitate river access sites along the Upper Gallatin River between the mouth of Gallatin Canyon and the Yellowstone National Park boundary. The Upper Gallatin is an ecologically and recreationally important river valued for its Class 1 fisheries, wildlife, scenic viewing, rafting, and kayaking.
The Upper Gallatin River primarily runs through public land managed by the Forest Service. Historically, forest management has focused on campgrounds and trails. The lack of focus on river access management has resulted in increasingly visible signs of human impact, including eroded streambanks, trampled riparian vegetation, and many unofficial trails to the river. With dramatic current and projected population growth, river use will continue to increase, threatening the resource values of the river.
To keep the Gallatin River from being loved to death, the Task Force and Forest Service have developed a list of prioritized river access projects. We hope that success at Moose Creek will garner excitement and support for additional restoration projects in the Upper Gallatin. Deer Creek is next in line for restoration work.
The Task Force and Forest Service are extremely thankful for current supporters of the Moose Creek Project: Big Sky PBR, DHM Design, Patagonia, RESPEC Consulting & Service, and the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation. If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact Kristin Gardner at 993-2519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos taken by Rich Addicks, Photojournalist and Task Force Board Member