Who We Are
The Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group was formed in 2004 to serve as an “umbrella” organization for the existing watershed councils engaged in protecting the water resources of key tributaries to the lower Clark Fork River. The Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group continues to coordinate collaborative management and restoration efforts by connecting private and public interests throughout the watershed.
Watershed councils help organize local landowners and citizens to implement watershed management and restoration projects and protect the areas that they live in and love. There are eight established watershed councils in the lower Clark Fork: Elk Creek, Bull River, Pilgrim Creek, Rock Creek, Trout Creek, Whitepine Creek, Little Beaver Creek, and Prospect Creek.
There are many agencies engaged in the protection and enhancement of water resources in the lower Clark Fork. The Green Mountain Conservation District, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Forest Service (Kootenai and Lolo National Forests) are highly involved in restoration work in the lower Clark Fork. Other agency partners include the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Department of Natural Resources, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
In 1999, Avista Corporation and many other parties signed the Clark Fork Settlement Agreement which is a part of Avista Corporation’s license to operate the Cabinet Gorge and Noxon Rapids Dams on the lower Clark Fork. This agreement sets a course for the protection, mitigation and enhancement of natural resources and is a huge driver of watershed restoration projects in the lower Clark Fork.
In 2016, the Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group will also begin working with Northwestern Energy to identify opportunities for restoration in the Thompson River.