Their roots stabilize the soil along waterways reducing erosion. Trees provide shade to the stream that can help reduce water temperatures.
Stabilizing vegetation slows the water down so that it can better infiltrate into the aquifer. They also help to filter out pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorous, while providing habitat for birds and animals on land as well as fish and aquatic insects in the water.
People travel to the Bitterroot from all over for our world-class fishery. To help with clean water anglers can access the stream from designated access points to avoid impacts to established vegetation.
You can reduce the risk of transporting aquatic invasive species using the “clean, drain, dry” method for all boats and equipment. As with hikers, pack out what you pack in and follow leave no trace principles.
The Bitter Root Water Forum is here to help too. We partner with landowners to find solutions that address their needs and benefit water resources at the same time. Along the Burnt Fork, we are working with Jay Meyer on his family ranch.
They have had problems with erosion along the stream and the North Burnt Fork suffers from too much sediment, so we worked together to find a way to improve the situation for all. To encourage the growth of stabilizing vegetation we added fencing along the stream which will help protect plants from wildlife and cattle. An off-site watering system and hardened stream crossings were put in to help make their rotational grazing operation even more efficient and reduce erosion along the streambanks.