2016 Conservation Tour

2016 Trout Unlimited Annual Meeting Conservation Tour
Thursday September 29, 2016
“From Wastelands to Wetlands:  Restoring Fisheries in Wild Trout Country”
 
Montana’s storied wild trout fisheries are not an accident of history.  In fact, many Montana streams suffered gravely from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries.   Rivers, streams, and wetlands were viewed as merely water supplies, wastelands and conduits for effluent disposal.  Beginning in the 1960’s, Montanans rebelled against the abuses of their natural resources, culminating in laws and policies that stopped pollution and paved a pathway to restore healthy streams, fisheries, and functional floodplains.   Since the 1970’s, when Montana adopted a wild trout policy it shifted its focus to restoring habitats critical to supporting healthy, wild and native trout fisheries.
 
We’ll begin in the Bozeman area and observe streams and wetlands reborn by time and restoration effort and witness the results of the transition Sourdough Creek, the East Gallatin River, and Story Mill wetlands made from historically degraded to healthy functioning streams and wetlands.  We’ll learn about how TU has changed water law from over-allocation to protection of instream flow, that the cutting edge of restoration incorporates riparian wetlands and floodplains to maintain healthy fisheries, and have lunch at a park transformed from a city dump.  After lunch, we’ll travel out to the Madison River and see Darlington Ditch, a spring creek fishery that overcame its humble origins as a dike and drain ditch that persists with the ongoing efforts of the Madison-Gallatin Chapter.   
 
Finally, the tour will swing by the Simms Headquarters for a private tour of the facility and a cocktail reception. 
 
Itinerary
 
8:00 Coffee and Pastries at the Element Hotel 
8:15  Passengers begin to load busses
8:30 – 8:45 Leave Element Hotel travel to Stockyards
9:15 - 10:15  At the confluence of the East Gallatin and Sourdough Creek,  Laura Ziemer will give a short presentation about how TU has transformed water law in Montana to carve out water for trout.  
10:15 – 11:30 Tour of Story Mill Park, where TPL, TU and partners are implementing an integrated stream and wetlands project along with a city park in development, and explore the role of groundwater-surface water in aquatic restoration.
11:30 – 12:00  Load buses, travel to East Gallatin Recreation Area
12:00- 1:15  Boxed Lunches at the East Gallatin Recreation Area
1:15 – 2:00 Load Buses, drive ~ 25 miles to Darlington Ditch.
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Tour Darlington Ditch Restoration Site
2:45 – 3:15 p.m. Veterans and Restoration
3:15 – 3:45 p.m. The Challenge of Aquatic Invasive Species
3:45 – 4:30 p.m. Drive to Simms Headquarters
4:30 - 5:45 p.m. Private Tour of Simms Facility and Cocktail Reception
5:45 - 6:00 p.m. Return to Element Hotel downtown Bozeman
 

 

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