We are working for the day when...

  • Valley residents & visitors appreciate how integral the Bitterroot River is to the our social, ecological, and economic well-being, and prioritize its care and protection.

  • Urban & rural neighbors work together, guided by science and local wisdom, to proactively maintain and improve our water quality and resiliency.

  • The Bitterroot River system continues to provide for diverse uses while achieving its potential as a world-class fishery and top-quality aquatic habitat.

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Our Approach

The Water Forum's founders understood that water was the lifeblood of their community, and that promoting understanding, restoration, and conservation of our water resources was critical in supporting a healthy, functioning watershed and our  water-reliant community. 

 

Creating a shared understanding of the importance of a healthy watershed through educational “forums” was how the Bitter Root Water Forum got its start. Now, the Water Forum works to ensure clean and prevalent water for this and future generations through a two-fold approach of conservation learning and on the ground restoration.

 

Our conservation learning programs provide quality information on issues of watershed health to both youth and adults. There are avenues for all ages and interests to engage in watershed stewardship. Sparking that interest, and providing the best information, tools, and pathways for learning and engagement is how we are helping to build a community of diverse stewards.

 

The Water Forum’s restoration projects take place on public and private lands to improve stream health and rebuild healthy, resilient riparian areas. Projects are accomplished by coordinating with streamside landowners and an incredibly active and dedicated team of volunteers. Recent projects include sediment reduction on Three Mile and Rye Creek through road improvement measures, and sediment and temperature reduction projects on the East fork of the Bitterroot River and Cameron Creek through streamside revegetation.

Our Mission

The Bitter Root Water Forum is a community driven non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the traditions of agriculture, community and recreation by protecting, enhancing and restoring the Bitterroot watershed through on the ground restoration projects and watershed education.

Darlene, bundling willows for a successful restoration project (linked to RESTORATION) at her home on the Bitterroot River in Stevensville

The Bitter Root Water Forum was established in 1993 by five concerned grandmothers and a Ravalli County Extension Agent who sought to learn about our watershed and share what they learned with their community. Click to read more about our history.