2017 Bull River Calendar
December 6, 2016
A 2017 Calendar featuring the historical Bull River valley has just been completed – download it here! Entitled Settling the Bull River: Early life in a wild country this production begins to tell the story of the people who came to the Bull River in the late 19th Century and made a life for themselves. While honoring the past, their stories can also begin to inform present-day natural resource managers about the changes in the character of the Bull River watershed that have occurred over the last 150 years.
This calendar is brought to you by the Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group and the Green Mountain Conservation District, with funding from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Program and Avista Corporation. These entities have been engaged in stream restoration and enhancement work in tributaries of the lower Clark Fork River, including the Bull River. One of the largest projects in the Bull River has been an extensive and ongoing re-vegetation effort, working to increase native vegetation in riparian (stream-side) areas.
As we work to “restore” our streams, and improve their ability to provide clean water and habitat for native fish and wildlife, we look to the past. This enhances our understanding of what once was and what could be. People came and settled in the Bull River valley, and worked hard to build a life there. It is a wild country and settling this country was no small feat, but humans have altered the landscape in ways that have not always been beneficial to water quality and native fish and wildlife. We now have an increased understanding and appreciation for the importance of stream-side trees and native vegetation that provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife while also improving water quality and habitat for native fish like Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout.
Today, while there are still folks living in the valley, few live off the land in the same way as earlier residents. Hay fields have, and continue to be, converted back to the natural meadows and wetlands that were common in the valley bottom over a hundred years ago. We are actively planting thousands of native trees and shrubs to replace reed canarygrass along the banks of the Bull River. We are able to work together with landowners to balance the needs of humans with the interests of native fish and wildlife.
The vintage photos that make up this year’s calendar are available due to the relentless research of Mona Leeson Vanek, a sixty-year resident of Noxon, Montana, and the region’s most noted historian. Our photographs were selected from close to 1,000 photographs published in Vanek’s award-winning history trilogy, Behind These Mountains, Volumes I, II, and III, plus a few of her parent’s photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. The stories behind the incredible images in the calendar can be read in Kindle editions of the trilogy, available on Amazon, and in printable .pdf editions on DVD, available via mtscribbler@airpipe. com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the 2017 Bull River Calendar!
Update (January 3, 2017): By the end of the week, hard copies will be available to pick up at the Heron Community Center or the Green Mountain Conservation District Office.