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Water Forum seeking volunteers for Earth Day project

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22, by volunteering with the Bitterroot Water Forum, a nonprofit working for clean cool water in the Bitterroot River.

The Bitterroot Water Forum will complete their five-year East Fork project by adding wires to the recently installed fencing.

South of Hamilton, where the river parallels Highway 93, the lack of vegetation and proximity to the road caused increased sediment in the water and increased stream temperature. In 2011, the Bitterroot Water Forum met with environmental consultants to create a plan to remedy this situation. The Bitterroot Water Forum conducted five plantings of native vegetation on the riverbank.

On April 9, 20 volunteers from Stevensville High School, Trapper Creek Job Corps, Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Fly Fishers of the Bitterroot and other community members completed the final planting.

Now the native plants need protection from browsing wildlife.

Heather Barber, executive director of the Bitterroot Water Forum, said, “We are so fortunate to live in a community with a river like the Bitterroot, and with people who understand the importance of this resource to our Valley.”

“As soon as folks heard we were working on projects to help protect and restore the headwaters, we had volunteers lining up to help with the plantings,” Barber said. “We hope to have the same kind of enthusiasm for protecting those plants with fencing.”

Partners and volunteers made the re-vegetation projects of building up the soil and planting native plants possible.

Read the entire Ravalli Republic article here.

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