Current Events

Here you can find what’s on the docket for LWG and our partners. To learn more about our highlighted projects through a watershed view, visit our StoryMap: Lolo Watershed Group: Projects Past and Present .

Speaker Series:

At the Confluence of Water and Community

In July of 2021, don’t miss our latest discussion series at Traveler’s Rest State Park – including speakers from the Montana Department of Natural Resources, Rocky Mountain Lab, and the Big Hole Watershed Committee. Read below for more information!

Investigating Lolo’s Hydrology

July 6th, 5pm

Presenters: Valerie Kurth, Regional Water Planner Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Todd Blyth, Surface Water Hydrologist, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Ever wonder why the lower section of Lolo Creek runs dry each summer? The Montana Department of Natural Resources (MTDNRC) and Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MTBMG) have too. For the past few years these two agencies have been working together to monitor and investigate the water use and streamflow in the valley.

Their research has calculated a water budget that measures water flowing in, and out of the watershed and where it is stored. The study also provides estimates for future water supply and use which informs drought planning and efficient water use.

This study comes at critical time as the Lolo Community Council have begun to review plans for future residential development and infrastructure. Will there be enough to support Lolo’s growing population while supporting historic and cultural uses?

To hear more about future water availability and what it means for Lolo watershed, come to Traveler’s Rest State Park Tuesday, July 6th at 5pm and hear Valerie Kurth and Todd Blythe present their results.

An Innovative Study on Bull Trout in the West Fork of Lolo Creek

July 20th, 5pm

Presenter: Michael Shwartz, Director of the National Genomics Center for Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Aldo Leopold Research Station, Missoula MT

There is no denying that we live in an age of ever advancing technology. Many of us have recently benefited from these advances as new technology in human medicine shortened the amount of time required to develop the COVID19 vaccine and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. There have been technological advancements in the field of wildlife biology as well, some of which use similar tools to those used in human medicine.

Traditional methods for tracking native fish populations and wildlife include the use of radio collars, micro chips and electrofishing. Although these methods work, collecting environmental DNA (eDNA) is non-invasive method for sampling critically endangered species.

At the National Genomic Center for Fish and Wildlife Conservation, scientists are using eDNA sourced from Lolo Creek and watershed snowpack to determine the presence of fish and wildlife populations. This eDNA can also provide insights into the size of a population, their movement patterns and overall health.

To hear more about the results of this research and its potential, join Lolo Watershed Group at Traveler’s Rest State Park Tuesday, July 20th at 5pm and hear speaker Michael Shwartz, Director of the National Genomics Center for Fish and Wildlife Conservation.

Drawing Inspiration from the Big Hole Watershed

July 27th, 5pm

Presenter: Pedro Marquez, Executive Director of the Big Hole Watershed Commitee

The 1980’s and early 1990’s were not an easy time in the Big Hole. Several years experienced drought, grayling declining, and tensions rising. In 1994, the USFWS announced Arctic grayling as a candidate for the Endangered Species Act, with the Upper Big Hole River a critical threatened population stronghold. – Big Hole Watershed Committee

The circumstances in the Lolo watershed are beginning to mirror the same concerning issues in the Big Hole – just replace the word, “grayling” with “bull trout”. The Big Hole Watershed Committee (BHWC) was formed out of concern for water availability, the grayling listing and the consequences of doing nothing.

Hear Pedro Marquez speak on the legacy of the BHWC while providing examples of how BHWC can serve as a model for future restoration, recovery and stewardship in the Lolo Watershed.

Pedro Marquez, Executive Director for the Big Hole Watershed Committee will be speaking at Traveler’s Rest State Park on Tuesday, July 27th at 5pm.