Thanks to the partnership and generosity of Stockman Bank, Montana Trout Unlimited (MTU) received a $4,500 contribution to help with riparian restoration in the Bitterroot watershed.
The money provides early community support for this $70,000 project, which reconnects and restores one of the most important native fisheries in the Bitterroot Valley.
Bull trout are a federally listed, threatened species that inhabit many critical Bitterroot tributaries. In 2017, Trout Unlimited completed an inventory and prioritization of irrigation diversions in the Bitterroot’s core bull trout streams. The outcome of this work was a list of projects on private land with high potential to improve the bull trout fishery.
Stockman Bank’s contribution is supporting one of the highest priority projects.
This gift from Stockman Bank is the latest in a trifecta of largesse that has funded improvements in three major watersheds. Stockman Bank’s first investment in coldwater conservation was a $10,000 donation to remove the dam in Rattlesnake Creek, a key tributary of the Clark Fork River. They then extended their generosity to the Blackfoot River by donating $7,500 to work on its Nevada Creek tributary.
“As a true community bank, we support efforts that make Montana the best place to live, and healthy rivers are an important draw for recreationists of all stripes,” said Bob Burns, Missoula Market President at Stockman Bank.
“We are very grateful to Stockman Bank for investing in not just one, but three important projects in different watersheds,” said MTU executive director David Brooks. “Their commitment is helping not just the wild and native trout, but also Montanans and visitors who go to the rivers to fish, hike, boat and even lift their spirits. We hear over and over at MTU that people rely on our rivers for all kinds of reasons, and we are working hard to make sure that these treasures are clean and cold for the next generation of trout and people.”
For more information about Montana Trout Unlimited: www.montanatu.org.