Burnt Fork Creek - Restoration and Cattle Improvements

Location

Along North Burnt Fork Creek, Stevensville at Jay Meyer's property

Goals

Reintroduce native floodplain and riparian vegetation to stabilize the creek banks and provide essential wildlife habitat.  

Reduce cattle foot traffic in and around the streambed that was causing streambank degradation, sediment pollution, and ultimately land loss.

Reasoning

North Burnt Fork Creek is one of many in the Valley suffering from excess sedimentation (deposit of sediment). This creek is sometimes used as an overflow path from the Big Ditch during spring high flows.

  • Form thick webs of roots that hold land together, reducing erosion

  • Improve water quality by filtering pollutants

  • Create shade to keep waters cool for thriving native fish and other aquatic life

  • Help refill our underground water supply

  • Provide important habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife

Project Description

  • We installed a livestock fence around a section of the creek to protect it from foot traffic

  • We installed two guided cattle crossings, each enforced with gravel and fabric. 

  • We installed an off-stream watering system for the landowner to use to manage cattle watering 

  • In 2020 Water Forum volunteers planted 61 seedlings on the north side of the creek 

  • In 2021 Water Forum volunteers planted 300 willow cuttings and 70 nursery plants along both sides of the stream.

Timeline

2019 - Present

Partners

Jay Meyer, landowner & rancher

Cost

$52,000

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