How would you like to get outside this summer on some of your central Montana public lands and help save the Missouri River’s endangered cottonwood trees?
Then please join the Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument on July 22 and 23 as we pull salt cedar from the Wild and Scenic Missouri River, which stretches through central Montana from historic Fort Benton to the wild prairies and badlands of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
You may know that cottonwood trees are struggling along the Wild and Scenic Missouri. The majority of the stately giants along the river are older than 50. And young trees deposited in recent floods are facing stiff competition from weeds. That’s why the Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument are working to remove invasive salt cedar from the river corridor, to give the young trees deposited in the floods of 2011 the chance to grow.
You can help. Please join the Friends on July 22 and 23 and lend a hand to weed removal on the river. You’ll be joining Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) crews to hand-pull small weeds, use hand tools for bigger weeds, and help the crews inventory the area. Crews that week will be based at Judith Landing, northwest of Lewistown on the Wild and Scenic Missouri River. You can drive up for the day, or camp out overnight under the bowl of stars. To sign up for one or both days, please email Friends Restoration and Volunteer Coordinator Sara Meloy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weeds work is part of a larger collaborative effort by the Friends, MCC, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Missouri River Conservation Districts Council, to help restore and protect the Monument’s aging cottonwood galleries. The MCC work is being made possible by generous funding from PP&L Montana.
“This collaborative group is the first of its kind on this stretch of river,” said Friends Executive Director Beth Kampschror. “We’re excited about getting a handle on this salt cedar invasion while it’s still new enough to hand pull.”
The Friends have plenty of other volunteer opportunities for you to consider this summer – including another weed pull slated for August. Events are available on the Friends website at www.missouribreaks.org/events.
The Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument is a 501(c)(3) organization that protects and preserves the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument by educating the public, advocating for responsible access and environmentally responsible uses, and supporting groups and agencies that protect and restore the Monument. We’re on the web at www.missouribreaks.org, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/friendsofthemissouribreaks.