Restoration Projects

Sierra Club Watershed Restoration projects

Little McCormick Creek Watershed Restoration Project – Completed 2009

In 2009, Sierra Club and Trout Unlimited volunteers worked on the Little McCormick Creek Restoration Project, northwest of Missoula, Montana. Little McCormick Creek, a tributary of Ninemile Creek and an important westslope cutthroat trout stream, was extensively mined for gold in the early and late 1900s, causing significant damage to the streambanks and water quality. The planting several thousand willows, dogwood, alder and other plants will help stabilize the streambank, reduce water temperature and provide habitat for fish, birds and other animals. The project area is managed by the Lolo National Forest.

The projects desired outcomes are to restore and protect fisheries habitat to better protect trout from the affects of climate change and to reduce climatic and non-climatic stressors. The project restores 1000’ of stream and will benefit trout in a variety of ways:

  • Enhance riparian shade
  • Decrease water temperature
  • Reduce sediments
  • Increase perennial flow
  • Flood plain creation
  • Weed abatement
The project also helps to create partnerships and provides opportunity for volunteer engagement. Thanks to the dozens of volunteers who lent a hand in 2009!

Fish Creek Watershed Restoration Project – To be completed in 2010

The Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club has partnered with Trout Unlimited to help restore several tributaries of Fish Creek, an important tributary of the middle Clark Fork River near Missoula, Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) is currently in the process of acquiring 40,000 acres of land in the heart of the Fish Creek drainage previously owned by Plum Creek Timber Co. This land, in desperate need of restoration, is being proposed for a 34,000 acre Wildlife management Area and a 6,900 acre State Park. The stated purpose of the acquisition is to secure critical fish and wildlife habitat and to enhance access for the public. Bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout inhabit most all of Fish Creek and its tributaries. Removing unneeded roads and upgrading culverts enhances habitat for fish & wildlife. According to MFWP there are more migratory bull trout in Fish Creek than in all the other tributaries of the middle Clark Fork River, combined.

Volunteer service opportunities are being scheduled for 2010. Please contact Raina Phillips at: raina.phillips at or to get involved with future restoration projects, contact Hunter-Angler Program staffer, Bob Clark in the Missoula field office.

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