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The Lower Clark Fork Watershed (Hydologic Unit Code: 17010213) is the downstream-most portion of the Clark Fork Basin, composed of all the area (2,336 sq miles) draining into the Clark Fork River between its confluence with the Flathead River downstream to Lake Pend Oreille (see map above). The watershed is located on the Montana/Idaho border, with the majority of the watershed located in Sanders County (with a small area in the northern extent of the Thompson River subwatershed falling in Lincoln and Flathead Counties, and the most downstream extent falling in Bonner County, Idaho).
The LCFWG actively works throughout approximately 75% of the Lower Clark Fork Watershed, excluding the areas in Idaho and those upstream of the Thompson River’s confluence with the Clark Fork River. The tributaries to the lower Clark Fork River that are labeled in the map below are the sub-watersheds where we have completed projects in the past or are active currently. The LCFWG has been active in the LCF Tributary Watershed Restoration Planning Area (highlighted in green below) since its formation in 2003, but began working in the Thompson River Watershed Restoration Planning Area (highlighted in yellow below) in 2016.
The Lower Clark Fork Watershed is located in a rural area, where nearly 70% of the land is public. The majority of public lands are managed by the Lolo and Kootenai National Forests, while there are a also a number of state parks (managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks) and the Thompson River State Forest (managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources). Weyerhaeuser owns and manages a large area of private timberlands in the Thompson River drainage, much of which is held under a conservation easement by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. In addition to working with large land and natural resource managers, LCFWG also works on smaller private land holdings, helping to bridge the gap between agency’s science-based management priorities and the goals of local residents and landowners in stewarding their own lands.