UCFR near Jens

Finding solutions to the complex environmental and natural resource challenges facing the Upper Clark Fork River (UCFR) requires an informed and functional integration of science-driven understanding, stake holder engagement, and agency oversight and direction. The Montana University System (MUS)’sEPSCoR Consortium for Research on Environmental Water Systems (CREWS) has identified the UCFR as a focal fluvial system with water quality challenges to be addressed by a team of interdisciplinary researchers in close partnership with State agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private institutions involved in and influenced by the ongoing remediation and restoration activities in the upper reaches of the river. The State and the MUS have worked together on UCFR issues in the past, but research and monitoring along the UCFR is multi-faceted, involving a number of institutions and intentions. There is need for a coordinated effort to align CREWS research and education activities directed at the UCFR with those of the State and other entities to maximize understanding and enrich the knowledge base for effective decision-making.

With support from the MUS’s Institute on Ecosystems (IoE) and the Montana Water Center (MWC), the Upper Clark Fork Working Group (UCFWG) represents a coalition of experts from the CREWS project, representatives of key state agencies, and personnel from NGOs and private industry, with the joint commitment to fostering collaboration and generating fundamental knowledge needed for informed decision making. Sustainable pathways for the UCFR will rely on judicious and coordinated use of available resources through awareness and cress fertilization promoted by the UCFWG’s activities. The UCFWG advances solutions for current and future research and monitoring challenges consistent with the State of Montana’s extant restoration plans.

Our vision is to catalyze collaboration and advance integrated research and monitoring efforts through seamless exchange of information, coordinated formation of the research and production of the data and documentation required to enable informed and agile decision making for remediation, restoration and resource management of the Upper Clark Fork River, MT.

The UCFWG’s Mission is to facilitate, produce, analyze and share science-based knowledge among key participants involved in the remediation, restoration, research, and monitoring of the Upper Clark Fork River and its tributaries.