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By Deb Fassnacht and Brook Bauer, Missoula Current

The boundaries of the Rattlesnake Watershed outlined in yellow. (Map by Brook Bauer)

As we flow into a new year, we contemplate how our water sources can be protected amidst the predictable changes in our climate and increase of development in the Missoula Valley. These conditions and circumstances prompt us to explore the question of what does watershed sustainability look like?

Western Montana’s Watershed Education Network (WEN) has been engaging people in learning about and caring for their rivers and creeks since its founding in 1996. WEN’s staff and dedicated volunteers actively engage in their mission, “to foster knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of watershed health through citizen science, youth and school engagement, and outreach to our communities in order to ensure future stewardship of our rivers and creeks.”

Rattlesnake Creek is an important tributary to the Clark Fork River, and an essential trout spawning stream. As the snowmelt that feeds Rattlesnake Creek flows into the Clark Fork River it heads west to become part of a vast river system. The Clark Fork runs through Idaho and flows right into Lake Pend Oreille.


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