UMOWA Spring Meeting April 29th
Missouri River UMOWA has set the date and program for the annual member’s meeting. The gathering will be April 29th at the Craig Fire Department meeting hall. Barbecue and social hour will start at 6:00. The program will follow starting at 7:00.
We thank Rocky Harbor of the Dearborn Ranch for agreeing to provide the barbecue. The valley residents who have had the opportunity to take part in one of Rocky’s barbecue will vouch that this will be an occasion not to be missed.
On the program for the meeting will be David Stagliano who conducted UMOWA’s macroinvertabrate study on the Missouri in 2015. He will give a rundown on how the study was conducted and what conclusions can be drawn from the data that was collected. He will be open for any questions you may have concerning the study. If you have not had a chance to read the study it is available on UMOWA’s website
Craig McLane, MT Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) biologist for the aquatic invasive species program, will speak about their efforts to halt the spread of invasive species. This is of special interest as they will be coordinating with UMOWA in our efforts to initiate a study this summer to establish aquatic plant baseline data.
Also on the agenda will be an as yet to ba announced speaker from Mt Department of Environmental Quality. UMOWA with the aid of DEQ we will embarked on an extensive water quality sampling program for 2016. The focus of the project will be to fill in the gaps left by previous sampling by both private and government entities in the past. We anticipated that this will take place on the Smith river as well as the main stem of the Missouri. DEQ will help in coordinating the efforts.
To conclude the program Eric Roberts and Jason Mullen from MT FWP will present the results of the annual fish counts for the Missouri’s Wolf Creek to Cascade reach and Canyon Ferry. This is always a highlight as we all want to know what to expect from the river for the next season.
The meeting will also be your opportunity to show your support for UMOWA by signing up as a volunteer for the coming season. As always we would like to encourage you to renew your membership or to sign on as a member if you have not already done so. With the continuation and expansion of the aquatic studies, it is imperative that you lend a hand to fund this critical work. You will be protecting one of Montana’s most precious resources, not only for yourself, but for future generations that deserve to inherit this irreplaceable resource.
The good life on any river may…depend on the perception of its music, and the preservation of some music to perceive.-
From the Chairman
UMOWA thanks the donors and members who have made 2015 a success. Without you we are nothing. With you we have gone further than any of us thought possible in 2 short years. As we move forward I would like to welcome the new board members, Alan Shaw, Bill Ryan, and Garrett Munson, three people that will make our organization stronger. We also thank outgoing chairman Pete Cardinal for all of the hard work in getting this organization off the ground.
With the help from all our members and volunteers we expect next year to be more productive that 2015. We will keep in touch.
Projects for 2016
For the summer of 2016 UMOWA will expand the macroinvertabrate study that was successful on the Missouri to include the Smith River. David Stagliano will continue to provide the scientific expertise for both rivers. The second year of data for the Missouri should start to provide a clearer picture of what is happening to the insect populations on both of the rivers.
In addition to the insect study UMOWA will conduct extensive water quality sampling on both the Smith and the main stem of the Missouri to establish baseline data. MT DEQ, and Montana State University have committed to providing guidance to ensure that the data will be scientifically valid. They will provide the sampling expertise and UMOWA will provide for the sample analysis and compilation of the data.
A critical piece in understanding the health of the Missouri River is an assessment of the aquatic plant life. UMOWA is planning to initiate a study for the Missouri to identify both the native and invasive species of flora in the reach of river between the Holter Dam and Cascade. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and Montana Natural Heritage Program have agreed to provide technical assistant and assist with the training of volunteer samplers. If you are interested in being a volunteer sampler send us an email.
Tintina Resources has proposed a copper mining operation on the upper Smith drainage. As the permit works it’s way through the process it is evident there is no time to waste in gathering the baseline data for this important Missouri River tributary. Tintina has assured Montana that they will not cause any adverse impact on the environment of this watershed. However, the legacy of mining in Montana has left a negative impact on nearly every corner of Montana. It is critical that we establish baseline data for the Smith drainage in case any damage takes place.
To accomplish these goals we will need your help. Please consider a donation to UMOWA in 2016. If you would like to contribute you can do so on our website www.UMOWA.org.
A Special Thanks
UMOWA would like to thank the following volunteers for their time donated to the organization
Joel Wilson – Website updates
Braden Lewis – Sampling
John Kernaghan – Planning
Cathy Fitzgerald – Data administration
and all of the people who have taken the time to advise us as we embark on our projects
Hope to see some of you at the meeting this April 29th. A good cause for all of us.