Save the Date! Announcing Our 20th Anniversary Celebration

The Big Hole Watershed Committee is Celebrating a 20th Anniversary!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Details to follow.

Please plan to join us!

Celebrate 20 years of Conservation Through Consensus on the Big Hole River.

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BHWC Special Pages

Big Hole River Floodplain Maps State Adoption

floodplainBig Hole River Floodplain Maps undergo public comment in preparation for state adoption. This page provides information and public comment details.

Big Hole River Stream Flow & Drought Management Plan 2015

DMP MapFind the 2015 Big Hole River Drought Management Plan, as well as information about Big Hole River flows, temperatures and latest status and reports here.

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Arctic Grayling News at Next BHWC Meeting 4/15

The next BHWC Monthly Meeting will be:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

7pm at the Divide Grange

Topic:

Arctic Grayling New and Updates

Presented by: Mike Roberts, DNRC, Kyle Tackett, NRCS, Jim Magee USFWS and Emma Cayer, MFWP

The Upper Big Hole River Arctic grayling recovery effort is led by the Conservation Candidate Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) program. The CCAA program enrolls landowners in written agreements to help enhance and conserve critical Arctic grayling habitat and conditions between the Big Hole River headwaters near Jackson, MT to Dickie Bridge. In exchange, enrolled landowners are protected from any additional regulatory requirements if the Arctic grayling were listed on the Endangered Species Act. The CCAA has been in effect since 2006. Each year the CCAA program provides an update on progress to the BWHC.

On August 19, 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that after years of status review, restoration, and pending listing decisions, the Arctic grayling did not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act due to effective conservation and partnerships. This marks a landmark decision and success story sparked in the early 1990’s with the Arctic Grayling Recovery Program and Big Hole Watershed Committee and precipitated by the expansive Conservation Candidate Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).

So what do these changes mean for the future of the CCAA program?

BHWC Agenda April 2015

BHWC March 2015 Minutes

Click Here to learn more about our monthly meetings.

Find the Divide Grange:

The Divide Grange is located on Highway 43 in Divide, Montana. From the east, Exit I15 on the Divide/Wisdom/Highway 43 Exit and turn west on Highway 43. You will enter the town of Divide. Turn left towards the school & Post Office. The Divide Grange is a one story cement building located west of the school.

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BHWC Welcomes Big Sky Corps Member

Please help us welcome our Big Sky Watershed Corps Member, Sarah Washko! Sarah will work with us January – November 2015 to assist with water quality monitoring, projects and outreach. She resides in Wise River. She is a recent graduate of University of Montana.2015_BSWCThe Big Sky Watershed Corps program is an AmeriCorps program that places recent graduates with Montana watershed or conservation groups. The program is operated by Montana Watershed Coordination Council and hosted by Montana Conservation Corps. There are 20 members serving in Montana statewide in 2015.

 

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Lawsuit Filed 12/4/14 Against USFWS Arctic Grayling Decision

Lawsuit announced 12/4/2014 against the USFS Arctic grayling listing decision to not list the fish under the Endangered species act:

The following is from an EarthJustice press release 12/4/2014:

“The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Butte resident Pat Munday and former Montana fishing guide George Wuerthner today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s latest decision to deny protection to a unique population of Arctic grayling in Montana. The Service first determined the grayling warranted endangered status in 1994 and reaffirmed that conclusion in 2010, but reversed course in August, withholding protection from the rare and beautiful relative of trout and salmon. The groups are represented by Earthjustice in Bozeman.”

Click Here to see entire the EarthJustice press release

Click Here to view the entire Intent to Sue document

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BHWC Fall 2014 Newsletter

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Big Hole Watershed Committee Fall 2014 Newsletter Click Here to view the BHWC Fall 2014 Newsletter. Inside: The Year of Bliss Organization News, Recent Growth & Governing Board Changes BHWC News from our Focus Areas Project Updates on Mount Haggin … Continue reading

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State Adopts Big Hole River Floodplain Maps

The Big Hole Watershed Committee is pleased to announce that October 7, 2014 the State of Montana formally adopted Big Hole River Floodplain maps. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) conducted a technical analysis of the maps and … Continue reading

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Grayling Not Listed Under ESA!

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Today USFWS release their decision to not list the Arctic Grayling under the Endangered Species Act due to the efforts of collaborative partnerships. The Arctic grayling was the genesis of the Big Hole Watershed Committee (BHWC) in 1995. Since that time … Continue reading

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Big Hole River Watershed Restoration Plans

BHWC Announces Completion of Big Hole River Watershed Restoration Plans:

Upper and North Fork Big Hole Watershed Restoration Plan, 2012

Middle-Lower Big Hole River Watershed Restoration Plan, 2013

The Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP) is a plan for improving water quality based on recommendations and findings of the Big Hole River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and impaired waters listings. The WRP is a living document reviewed as needed. This is the first version of the WRP. The primary concern for water quality in the Big Hole River is high water temperature and sediment loading as a result of physical channel impairments (i.e. lack of riparian vegetation, channel disruption, etc.). High levels of nutrients and metals are also water quality concerns in some drainages.

The Big Hole River WRP’s are created and managed by the Big Hole Watershed Committee. Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sponsored development and provides oversight. Montana DEQ manages TMDL’s statewide and impaired waters listings statewide. Montana DEQ works with local watershed groups to voluntarily improve water quality in order to remove the waters from impaired listings.
The WRP is required by Montana DEQ and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) to meet EPA guidelines and approval from Montana DEQ in order for watershed groups to work to improve non-point source water quality. To date 11 WRP’s have been approved statewide and many WRP’s are in-process or slated for completion by local watershed groups.

Learn more about non-point sources water pollutions in Montana from Montana DEQ

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