At the Coalition, we keep tabs on a host of campaigns, issues, and concerns that affect watershed health in western Montana and northern Idaho. From threats posed by extractive industry to policy-making at the state and national level, we have our finger on the pulse of the most important items facing the Clark Fork basin. And we want to do more than share the news-- we want to show our members and partners ways to become involved in the most pressing issues of the day in the watershed.
At the Coalition, we're paying close attention to the sale of Mountain Water Company to the Carlyle Group. We believe public ownership of Mountain Water is the best way to support Missoula's irreplaceable water resources-- and our city's long-term need for clean, safe, affordable, and reliable water far into the future. Learn more about how to support public ownership of Missoula's water utility. Get involved today.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are collaborating on the cleanup of the Mike Horse mine site, located at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River near Lincoln. DEQ has been reviewing new sites as well as previously evaluated sites for a safe repository location for mine waste. Although DEQ still needs more information on groundwater levels, it appears that Section 35 may be the best site for the mine waste, from an environmental perspective. But there’s a catch; section 35 is only a quarter mile from the nearest residence. At the CFC, we'd like DEQ to seriously consider constructing a new, off-highway haul road if this site is selected, as we think hauling this volume of waste on public highways is dangerous. A new road would cost more, but the payoffs in human health and safety would be worth it.
Certain pharmaceutical drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, have been detected in lakes, rivers, and groundwater across the globe. Scientists generally agree that aquatic life is at increased risk due to the increasing amount of drugs in our water. How do these drugs enter our rivers, streams, and groundwater in the first place? Industry, hospitals, and medical centers contribute a fair share, but households also add to the problem. People often dispose of unused or unwanted prescription drugs or other medications by flushing them down the toilet, but flushing is NOT a safe method of disposal. It's easy to take action to protect our rivers and streams. Clean out your medicine cabinets of any unused or expired medications (over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs), and bring them down to Missoula's new permanent disposal dropbox at the Police Department, located in City Hall at 435 Ryman Street. The drop box is inside the south door, on the back (parking lot side) of the building, facing the Mountain Line bus transfer area. Learn more
We have our eye on potential threats to the watershed. Get a full run-down of projects, proposals, and threats that could negatively impact the health and vitality of the Clark Fork and its tributaries. Read the Clean Water Watchlist