Some Current Conservation Initiatives of Montana Trout Unlimited:
- Monitoring potential development of a huge copper mine (Black Butte Mine) in the Sheep Creek drainage of the Smith River watershed. We dedicated a website to cover the issue at SmithRiverWatch.org. Get more information by viewing the Black Butte Mine FAQ. Updated 2/22/16: View reports from independent experts here.
- Advocating for and helping fund projects that restore native cutthroat populations in Yellowstone National Park, including large-scale removal of harmful populations of predacious, non-native lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. See answers to FAQ here.
- Pushing for restoration of native bull trout and cutthroat trout in Flathead Lake, the Flathead River system and the Swan Lake basin through removal of predacious non-native lake trout.
- Partnering with a local land trust to restore and manage the open space, riparian community and public access opportunities at the confluence of Rock Creek and the Clark Fork Rivers.
- Working in the Montana Legislature and within state agencies for protective laws and rules that ensure future groundwater development doesn’t deplete connected streams and rivers.
- Helping create and back habitat, streamflow, water quality and recreational access projects as part of a large-scale restoration of damaged habitat effort in the upper Clark Fork basin.
- Supporting the efforts of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in their efforts to negotiate a water rights settlement with the State of Montana that includes healthier streamflows for fish. See why we support the proposed water compact here.
- Collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service to establish permanent instream flow rights on key headwater tributaries throughout Montana.
- Monitoring efforts to restore the mine-damaged headwaters of the Clark Fork and Big Blackfoot watersheds.
- Monitoring management of federal water projects on the Bighorn, Beaverhead, Missouri and Kootenai Rivers to ensure federal engineers give due deference to acclaimed tailwater fisheries.
- Providing leadership in development of state programs aimed at heading off damaging future infestations of aquatic invasive species, such as alien mussels or Eurasian milfoil.
- Protecting the interests of public recreationists by filing supportive briefs in the Montana Supreme Court to defend our state’s best-in-the-nation laws allowing access to and on public streams and rivers.
- Regularly monitoring – and sometimes opposing or requesting modifications of – proposals for leasing state and federal lands for oil and gas development near key fisheries, such as the Yellowstone, Shields and Beaverhead Rivers.