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For the week of October 8 - 14, 2003

News

Stalker Creek
restoration continues
at TNC preserve


The Nature Conservancy is looking for help with restoration efforts at the Silver Creek Preserve, east of Picabo. Volunteers are needed to help with the planting of willow trees Wednesday, Oct. 8 and with in-stream restoration from Oct. 8 through 17.

These opportunities do not necessarily require time in the stream itself, but waders are a bonus.

TNC received unanimous approval from the Blaine County Commission on Monday, Sept. 15 to dredge portions of the Stalker Creek stream bed and to build more exaggerated meanders into the streamís course.

This fallís Stalker Creek habitat improvements constitute the second project of its kind in tributary. Last year, a similar habitat improvement effort upstream of the present project site was deemed a success, said Mark Davidson, TNC Silver Creek manager.

This fallís work is part of an ongoing project that could eventually improve fish and riparian habitat throughout the Silver Creek system, Davidson said.

The project will occur within a 3,600-linear-foot section of the stream.

"Habitat diversification is the overall goal," Davidson said.

The Preserve has a tremendous variety of plant and bird species, including over 150 species of birds, countless wetland plants and shrubs, and a world renowned trout fishery. The banks of Stalker Creek have collapsed, resulting in a shallow, sediment-choked area that is severely prone to thermal pollution during the summer months. By planting willow trees and narrowing the river channel, the preserveís staff will be able to alleviate some of these problems.

Channel narrowing will also benefit the system with increased habitat diversity in the stream bottom, providing better habitat for aquatic insects, non-game species such as sculpin, dace, and shiner and for the varieties of trout. Lastly, this project will allow better sediment management to preserve properly functioning areas downstream.

To help with restoration efforts, please contact Brian McCurdy at 788-7910 for further information and to sign up.

 

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