Clark Fork River faces damages because of frequent visitors

Clark Fork River faces damages because of frequent visitors

Source: ABC Fox Montana
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By Nicole Mojarro

This is the most popular time of the year for people to go and enjoy Clark Fork River and its nearby trails. However, with this location’s popularity there are some wears around the river that community leaders here want to bring attention to people. “Our urban river is getting to the point that it’s being loved to death. Just seeing a lot of use,” said Travis Ross, Missoula Valley Water Quality District, Environmental Health Specialist.

Those with Missoula City parks & Recreation, Clark Fork Coalition and Missoula Valley Water Quality District said it’s about preserving the Clark Fork. One idea is just putting up friendly signs like these with reminders for river and trail goers. “I think it is a great idea. It’s important and helpful to us to be mindful,” said Jean Baumgardner, Missoula Resident. One of these signs will remind people to pick up trash especially, beer can and bottles that are commonly left behind.
“It gets really warm out and start to enjoy floating down the river and I have just noticed more trash. So it would be good to remember to clean up,” said Baumgardner.

One thing that’s not too obvious for residents is how they impact the river and wildlife around by going on undersigned trails. Holly Biehl with the Clark Fork River said when people take unofficial trails it can destroy habitats and affect water quality. “It puts settlement into the river that creates a problem with water clarity and lack of water quality and destroys vegetation,” said Biehl.  Overall, this is all about being stewards to our lovely Clark Fork River.

River and trail goers will start to see these sign actually this week.

Those with the Clark Fork River Coalition said these signs will be up by Wednesday or Thursday.