Three Rivers Collaborative Keeps Clark Fork River Networked | Regional news


Seasonal changes to the Clark Fork River will soon trigger shoreline changes throughout Missoula.

From the giant hole engulfing the old Caras Park Amphitheater to new GIS maps predicting where new stream channels might appear, the Three Rivers Collaborative had a lot to discuss at its fall gathering.

No one will see the undercover gallery once the grass and seats are replaced with the park scene. But all the stormwater that drains from the streets of downtown Missoula will lose its cigarette butts, oil reflections, and other pollutants before it drains from the pipe just below A Carousel for Missoula in Clark. Fork.

This is the second phase of protecting the river, after an underground separator that removes large waste like beer cans when stormwater passes under Caras Park.

“Yes, we are removing the green hill that everyone loves so much,” said Linda McCarthy of the Missoula Downtown Association at last Wednesday’s Zoom meeting. “But since the bridge is under construction, now is the perfect time to demolish the park. This saved us about $ 100,000 and one construction season.

When complete, Caras Park will have better stairs and trails connecting the performance area and pavilion to the river bank and the Brennan’s Wave whitewater area. The combination of park design, wastewater management, river recreation and multiple funding opportunities has become the hallmark of Three Rivers Collaborative.

The group combines officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Missoula City and County Governments, nonprofits such as the Five Valleys Land Trust and Clark Fork Coalition, the Missoula Downtown Association, and property owners. affiliated companies. Although he has no decision-making power of his own, the group’s networking and brainstorming has improved a variety of riverine projects throughout the Missoula Valley.

In another upcoming example, planners in Missoula County have almost completed a complex set of cards showing where the Clark Fork may erode its banks or displace its channels in the near future. These maps will be part of a public review of the proposed zoning rules later this winter.

Missoula County riparian protection and zoning planner Andrew Hegemeier said the maps help draw attention to two purposes: setbacks or buffers that help wildlife move around the area. of the river without conflict, and water quality protections that avoid placing the activity where flooding or erosion could discharge pollutants into the river.

“Our floodplains and riparian corridors don’t quite match up,” Hegemeier said of the mapping effort.

While new floodplain maps are due for release in early 2022, they may not show where the river could migrate to new channels during future flooding.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.