Reconnecting the Floodplain on Cameron Creek
This project builds upon previous stream restoration projects on Cameron Creek, a tributary of the Bitterroot River. Through the installation of beaver mimicry structures, the Bitter Root Water Forum is improving riparian habitat along Cameron Creek, providing shade, cooling the water along creek, slowing water flow rates, raising the water table, and reconnecting the floodplain. These actions will help to decrease stream temperatures to the overly warm Cameron Creek which flows into the thermally impaired East Fork of the Bitterroot River. Total number and type of beaver mimicry structures will be dependent on the recommendations of a consultant. This project directly addresses the Bitterroot River Watershed Restoration Plan.
Stream Restoration Maintenance and Monitoring
The Bitter Root Water Forum’s Big Sky Watershed Corps member worked with a group of local volunteers to maintain and monitor four previously restored sites along East Fork, Rye, and Cameron Creeks – all tributaries of the Bitterroot River. Riparian vegetation along these three waterways is reducing temperature, sediment, and nutrient impairments in the Bitterroot. To maintain this vegetation, volunteers watered plants, fixed and removed browse protectors, added browse-protecting fence, re-seeded bare areas, counted plants, removed weed mats, and took photos to document restoration progress. The project engaged 20 volunteers, 4 landowners, and 1 ranch manager. This project directly addresses the Bitterroot River Watershed Restoration Plan.