Partnerships for Conservation
Film by Tom Attwater Media
About the Big Hole Conservation Fund
How to Get Involved
- Donate: Click the Donate Button in the bottom corner! We accept one-time, monthly, and round-up donations.
- Support Participating Partner Businesses: Add a percentage to your bill at Partner Businesses where you see our logo! They will send us your contribution.
- Current partner businesses: Sunrise Fly Shop – Melrose, Montana
- Enroll Your Business: A healthy river system drives traffic to the Big Hole and to many local businesses, which are a critical part of the Big Hole’s community & economy. If not for the river, no one would ranch here, build homes here, or start businesses here. Visitors to the Big Hole recognize the value and unique qualities of our river and want to be a part of improving our watershed. We partner with businesses that share this understanding and want to maintain the health, vitality, and character of our beloved river, while branding their business as a partner in conservation. Contact BHWC to sign up your business in our program. The next generation deserves a healthy river system.
Conservation Fund ProjectsDonations can be targeted to the project of your choosing or to the area of greatest need. Projects for which we are currently fundraising can be viewed here: https://bhwc.harnessgiving.org/campaigns.
Projects Previously Completed through the Big Hole Conservation Fund
- Sage-Smith Springs Mesic Restoration
- Big Hole Watershed Maps
- Lower Big Hole Streambank Stabilization
- Pennington Bridge Phase 1 Restoration
Why the Big Hole Watershed Committee?
BHWC has been in the business of improving the health of the Big Hole River watershed and the quality of the experience people have here for over 26 years. In the early 1990s, the Big Hole River was going dry and at risk of being labeled a “chronically dewatered” stream, while the Arctic grayling was being considered for listing as an endangered species. Ranchers, outfitters, and state and federal agency representatives came together to form the Big Hole Watershed Committee (BHWC) in 1995. The group ethos, then and now, is to bring all stakeholders to the table to understand the river and find common solutions for its management, driven through partnerships and collaboration. BHWC published the state’s first Drought Management Plan in 1997, and ranchers continue to call each other to shut off water when the river gets low while outfitters, guides, and anglers comply with MFWP-enforced restrictions to protect the fishery. Our river is loved, but not overcrowded by anglers like other places because of river recreation rules we pushed for over a decade ago. Since BHWC was formed, no stretch of the Big Hole River has ever been dry. Grayling populations in the Big Hole are improving and the local fishing economy is strong. We believe local businesses are benefitting from BHWC’s collective efforts over the years, which have invested over $8 million into the watershed through stock water wells, irrigation improvements, predator conflict reduction programs, large-scale ecological restoration projects, studies and prioritization reports, and more. You can learn more about our past accomplishments here: https://bhwc.org/completed-projects/.
How to Get Involved
Businesses: Contact BHWC to learn more about our Conservation Fund partnership program. Everyone Else:
- Choose to do business at partner businesses, listed above right (coming soon)!
- Donate! Donations are tax-deductible and can be targeted to specific projects.
- Join us at our monthly meetings, the 3rd Wednesday of each month (except for July and December) at the Divide Grange. Meetings also available via Zoom.
- Subscribe to our email newsletter (include your mailing address if you’d also like a paper copy of our biannual newsletter).
- Follow us on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
- Text “bighole” to 26989 to connect with BHWC via text message.