Their roots stabilize the soil along waterways, reducing erosion. The trees provide shade for the stream which can help reduce the water temperature.
The stabilization of the vegetation slows down the water so that it can better infiltrate the aquifer. They also help filter pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus, while providing habitat for birds and terrestrial animals as well as fish and aquatic insects in the water.
People come to Bitterroot from all over for our world class fishing. To help keep the water clean, anglers can access the stream from designated access points to avoid impacts on established vegetation.
You can reduce the risk of transporting aquatic invasive species by using the “clean, drain, dry” method for all boats and equipment. As with hikers, pack what you pack and follow the principles of leaving no trace.
The Bitter Root Water Forum is also here to help. We work in partnership with landowners to find solutions that meet their needs and at the same time benefit water resources. Along Burnt Fork, we work with Jay Meyer on his family ranch.
They had problems with erosion along the creek and the North Burnt Fork is suffering from too much sediment, so we worked together to find a way to make things better for everyone. To encourage the growth of stabilizer vegetation, we have added fences along the creek that will help protect plants from wildlife and livestock. An offsite watering system and hardened stream crossings were installed to help make their rotational grazing operation even more efficient and reduce erosion along the riverbanks.