Cottonwood Planting April 1 (Wednesday) and April 7 (Tuesday)
April marks the start of our action-packed 2015 field season with our third annual cottonwood planting on the Wild and Scenic Missouri! This year we’re planting more trees at more sites than ever before. You can be part of this expanding collaborative restoration effort to replace the Missouri’s aging stands of cottonwoods on one or both days. So, come plant some trees, meet some new folks, and chat with us first-hand about all the other great riparian forest restoration work the Friends, BLM, and Missouri River Conservation Districts Council are doing as part of the Missouri Breaks Riparian Group. Please contact email@example.com for details and to sign up. Boat space is limited, so pre-registration is necessary.
Hiking the Breaks
This summer, we’re thrilled to co-sponsor two of Montana Wilderness Association’s “Wilderness Walks” led by three of our members. This is a superb opportunity to hike with a group and explore the Breaks by foot. Keep an eye on MWA’s Wilderness Walks page for information about how to register and for their 2015 summer walks booklet – available in mid-April.
Hike 1 - Exploring the Missouri Breaks, June 27 (Saturday) Led by Mary Frieze and Clint Loomis
Come with us to explore the canyons and vistas of the Missouri Breaks Monument. We’ll enter the Monument above the McClelland/Stafford Ferry. We’ll park our cars to explore the folds of a canyon on the south side of the Missouri River. This is a walk of moderate difficulty. We’ll then take the Ferry across the Missouri River to access the trailhead of BLM’s first designated hiking trail in the Monument. This trail follows the route of an historic military road to a spectacular overlook above the River. This will be a strenuous hike. We’ll picnic in a shady grove, or on a hillside overlook.
Hike 2 – Nez Perce Trail/Cow Creek Wilderness Study Area (Date TBA) Led by Tim Faber
Enjoy a scenic drive along the Bears Paw Mountains on the historic Cow Island Trail where bullwhackers freighted during the Steamboat Era on the Missouri River. We’ll visit old homesteads recently renovated by the Bureau of Land Management before car camping overlooking the Missouri. Sunday we’ll hike to Cow Island Landing where Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce skirmished with troops before their flight to the Bears Paw Battlefield. Last year we saw elk from our camp, bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn, and short-horned lizards.
Salt Cedar Eradication with MCC September – (exact day TBA)
Join us in the Breaks this summer to explore the Judith River and Arrow Creek on foot, get some exercise, and perfect your GPS skills. We can use all the help we can get as we battle a priority noxious weed in Montana. Salt cedar is abundant across the southwest United States and has shown up on the Missouri River with increasing frequency in recent years. It replaces desirable native species like cottonwoods and willows, sucks up more water than native plants, makes soils saltier, displaces birds and other wildlife, clogs irrigation canals, and increases fire hazard. We’re trying to get ahead of the problem by conducting on-foot surveys, marking salt cedar locations with GPS units, and digging up the invaders. This year marks our second year of salt cedar work with Montana Conservation Corps, so come join the crew!
Wood Bottom Rehab on Nat’l Public Lands Day September 26 (Saturday)
Wood Bottom Recreation Area is a minimally-developed site on the Missouri that’s accessible by road and boat. It flooded in 2014, resulting in fencing damage and weed infestation. BLM is leading the charge to rehab this site via removing damaged fencing, pulling weeds, and generally spiffing it up. In exchange for your help, the Friends will provide a delicious lunch to say thank you on this national day of service!