Our Waters, Our Ways of Life

The Bitterroot Water Partnership leads reliable and intentional conservation initiatives that promote and provide clean, ample water for people and healthy habitats by working with key partners and our communities.

How we serve


Restoring private and public lands to enhance habitat, maintain clean & resilient waterways, and help landowners achieve management goals.

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Building Community

Curating opportunities that help us connect to each other so we can work together to keep waterways clean and plentiful for the benefit of all.

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Hosting youth and adult learning programs to share the wonders and importance of water in the Bitterroot, and develop a community of stewards.

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Recent Projects

Road To Restoration

Streamside Restoration

The Bitterroot National Forest (BNF) land where the creeks lie was previously private property where owners developed dirt roads to ease timber removal. In 2000 intense fires severely damaged the landscape and caused dumptruck-loads of highly erosive soils to pour into streams. According to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the creeks needed a 63% reduction in the amount of soil entering the creeks from the nearby roads.

These creeks are essential habitat to native Westslope Cutthroat trout and Bull trout. With these degraded stream conditions, native insects and fish cannot thrive. Sediment build-up fills deep pools in creeks that fish use to lay eggs, ultimately smothering eggs and impairing survival. Excess sediment also kills insects in streams that fish rely on for food.

​Recontouring these abandoned, deteriorating roads restored hydrologic function, allowing for rain and runoff to be stored in the ground instead of washing out the road surface and into streams.

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East Fork Revegetation

Streamside Restoration

The East Fork of the Bitterroot River has endured a long struggle with thermal pollution (high temperatures) and excess sedimentation that impairs a 5,000 foot river reach. Healthy riparian habitat can mitigate these challenges.

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Doran Creek

Streamside Restoration

Temperature pollution degrades habitat for insects and fish, ultimately disrupting the whole ecosystem and the fisheries we love to enjoy. Doran Creek, a tributary to Cameron Creek, lacks healthy streamside vegetation to provide shade and became dangerously warm. 

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Miller Creek

Streamside Restoration

​Temperature pollution, in this case high temperatures, threaten native fish survival. Sediment pollution decreases clarity of our beloved clear waters and also degrades habitat for insects and fish, ultimately disrupting the whole ecosystem and the fisheries we love to enjoy. 

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Three Mile Creek

Streamside Restoration

Three Mile Road is a frequently used road system that is right next to Three Mile Creek. Dirt roads bordering creeks can cause pollution when they contribute excess eroded sediment (fine debris) into the waterway. Three Mile Creek is a significant contributor of contaminated, over-sedimented water to the Bitterroot River which decreases clarity and degrades fish habitat.

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watershed wellness

The Bitterroot Watershed is complex and diverse.

Cash for cuttthroats

Cash For Cutthroats is an annual event where Bitterroot fishing guides donate their day’s tip to the Water Partnership to support our efforts to restore and protect healthy streams for fish – and people, too!

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Our Publications

Here you’ll find out impact reports, annual reports, and newsletters.

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