Advancing local connection & Conservation

The Bitterroot Water Partnership understands that our waterways and water needs are dynamic and diverse, so our approach to clean and abundant waters must be, too. That’s why we work with partners throughout the Valley to produce thoughtful and trusted solutions for clean and abundant water, healthy habitats, and empowered watershed stewards.

Our River Ambassadors play an integral role in these efforts. They help us foster new connections, generate innovative ideas and approaches in our conservation work, and empower other watershed stewards.

The Bitterroot River is an unwavering representation of the state of water in the Bitterroot as well as the ways in which water connects us all. A cool, flowing, and well-enjoyed river indicates abundant water, healthy habitats, and happy people. Our river is nourished and dependent on connections with countless tributary streams, irrigation ditches, groundwater flows, wetlands, and springs, and the intentional stewardship distributed across these diverse components of the network is what makes the system bountiful and resilient.

Our River Ambassadors represent and carry out these same River principles in their ability to bring friends and strangers together to advance local water conservation.

Rebecca Busch

The Bitterroot River is helping me raise my boys. From the time they began seeing the world around them, the Bitterroot was a center touchstone in our world. From the time they were in the backpack,  as they started walking, and now biking along it’s side with our dog, fishing for our finned friends, or the quench of a swim in it to cool off on the hottest of summer days. My boys are learning about the environment around them, where our water comes from, our seasons, our wildlife, and the things we love to do that connect us with friends and family through the presence and preservation of our beloved Bitterroot River. I’m proud to serve as a River Ambassador so I can set an example for them around community engagement, stewardship, and local leadership.

Jesse Cooke

Hi! I’m Jesse Cook. I became involved in water conservation in the Bitterroot for a selfish reason, I love fishing! Growing up in the west, my family and I always used recreation (ie fishing) as a way to connect with nature and make memories that last a lifetime. My goal is to make a small impact that can better our waterways for future generations

Lisa Classen

Lisa Classen has called the Bitterroot Valley home for the past 23 years. She loves exploring our public lands and wilderness and is passionate about protecting Montana’s natural resources. As a river enthusiast, she is excited to be a River Ambassador and engage in water conservation & watershed protection efforts with the Bitterroot Water Partnership. 

She holds an M.A. in Environmental History from Northern Arizona University and works doing sustainable agriculture programming in the valley. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her daughter Wren, gardening, getting hands-on with wild plant foods & medicines, floating rivers, hiking and skiing.

Christina Dunbar

Jessica Erben

Brian Herbel

Zayne Jensen

Christine Lawson