Registration now open for the 2017 Musselshell WAWG Tour!
MWCC is excited to highlight the Musselshell during the 2017 WAWG Tour!
MWCC’s Water Activities Work Group (WAWG) Tour takes place each year and focuses on local organizations implementing natural resource projects in their watersheds or other geographical areas. The 2017 tour will take place September 18th-20th, and will feature a ranch tour, ongoing collaboration efforts in the Musselshell watershed, and projects related to cottonwood regeneration, grazing management, in stream flow and fish passage, and flood recovery projects.
Registration includes evening receptions and the opportunity to stay at the beautiful Barnsion in Harlowton. The Barnsion offers shared rooms, onsite camping, or the the option to hook up trailers. If you would like coordinate your own stay, MWCC has a block of rooms at the CountrySide Inn in Harlowton. Meals will be covered by MWCC, and includes catering from local establishments! If you have any questions or want more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Special thanks to Laura Nowlin and Mark Ockey for their enthusiastic work organizing this event.
Regular registration- $60
MWCC Partner Registration-$40
MWCC’s Partners can apply for Professional Development Scholarships. Applications are due September 1st.
Monday, September 18th– Orientation to the Musselshell
12:00 p.m. leave for Harlowton
Tour attendees meet in Helena and leave for Harlowton
3:00 p.m. Roundhouse Site Reclamation in Harlowton
DEQ Brownfields Porgram and DEQ Wetlands Program will lead a site visit at the railroad roundhouse site in Harlowton. DEQ is working with the local government to reclaim and restore the area.
4:30 p.m. Group dinner and presentations in Harlowton
Dinner will be provided by a local group and will include the following presentations:
- Collaboration efforts on the Musselshell- Laura Nowlin and Bill Milton
- River Geomorphology and channel migration zone mapping- Karin Boyd, Applied Geomorphology, Inc.
- 2011 flood impacts
- fisheries projects (rock ramps, dam removal, fish bypass)- Mike Ruggles, MT FWP
After dinner, tour attendees will head to the Barnsion for a casual evening reception.
Tuesday, September 19th– Ranch tour and the Middle Musselshell
9:30am- Ranch Tour with the Kilby Butte Colony
The Kilby Butte Colony has graciously agreed to host WAWG participants, and provide a tour of their ranch. Participants will learn more about their efforts to remove the invasive Russian Olive weed and their efforts towards cottonwood regeneration. In 2015, the Kilby Butte Colony received the Cooperator of the Year award from the Lower Musselshell Conservation District. This annual award is given to a producer that has worked closely with NRCS in improving and conserving the land. You can learn more about the Kilby Butte Colony and their conservation efforts by clicking, here.
12:30pm- Lunch at the Musselshell School and presentation
Presentations by Big Sky Watershed Corps Members working for the Musselshell Watershed Coalition, Missouri River Conservation Districts Council, Petroleum Conservation District. BSWC members will talk about their Canal Seepage Study.
2:30pm- Pedrazzi/ Newton Dam- fish passage alternatives
Tour visit will be facilitated by FWP.
3:30 pm Roundup Historical Museum
The museum stop includes a private tour by Conservation District supervisor and MACD committee member, Shirley Parrot, and will provide important historical context for the region.
4:30pm Roundup Riverwalk, Musselshell County Fairgrounds, Floodplain Reclamation and Riparian Restoration
Stop includes a visit to the Meathouse Road site, where a representative of the DEQ Abandoned Mine Lands Program, will talk about their efforts clearing old old mining structures, and restoring the floodplain area.
The Roundup RiverWalk Heritage Trail shares the story and history of the Musselshell River and the communities that rely on it. The Trail was created through community partnerships, and was originally completed in 2007. However, the massive flood in 2011 necessitated re-design and extensive rebuilding, and in 2014 a severe ice-jam caused another flood that carried away some of the numbered signs that highlight geographic and historical sites along the trail. The trail continues to evolve, and is a living lesson in the changes a wild river can render. To learn more, click here.
Visit at the fairgrounds will include:
- Willow plantings
- Flood mitigation alternatives
6:30pm- Dinner at the Barnsion or on your own
Wednesday, September 20th-Dam Tours
9:30am- Egge Dam Removal Site
Tour stop will also highlight willow plantings, and possible fish passage projects.
10:30am- Deadman’s Basin Diversion Dam
The Deadman’s Diversion Project was a partnership between MT FWP and local water users. FWP Future Fisheries program worked to create a new and innovative design to create a workable fish passage. The local water users came together and assessed themselves a high-than-normal fee to help fund the project.
12:30pm Lunch at Deadman’s Basin Reservoir
2:00pm Cookies and Coffee at Two Dot Community Hall by Upper Musselshell Conservation District
Peter Marchi, Chief Water Commissioner for the Musselshell Distribution Project, and water managers Craig Dalgarno (Upper Musselshell), and Leon Hammond (Deadmans’ Basin will meet with tour participants to describe their roles and challenges in managing water resources in the area.
4:00pm *Optional stop at Martinsdale Reservoir and Dam and the Bair Museum
Vans that choose to skip this stop will head back to Helena.
This tour would not be possible without the support and input from our partners at DEQ, Musselshell Watershed Coalition, and the Bureau of Land Management.