UM To Host Clark Fork Symposium April 23-24

April 13, 2015

MISSOULA — The University of Montana will host the 2015 Clark Fork Symposium Thursday and Friday, April 23-24. The symposium will be held in conjunction with the Clark Fork Task Force’s annual Water Supply Outlook Forum.

Since 1985, residents of the Clark Fork basin have met every five years to discuss conservation science and actions in the basin. This year’s symposium will evaluate the science-guided conservation progress the past 30 years, and consider challenges facing the Clark Fork basin in the future. 

Speakers will explain recent and ongoing studies guiding actions planned or taken to conserve and restore the Clark Fork basin. Watershed groups, scientists and others interested in the basin will present posters and slideshows. 

Events begin Thursday with the Water Supply Outlook Forum, featuring reports from the National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, operators of reservoirs in the state and others. The forum is slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown and includes lunch. A business meeting of the Clark Fork Task Force is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m., followed by a field trip to the new Milltown State Park, a former Superfund site.

Other symposium events include:

  • 7-9 p.m. Thursday, April 23, North Underground Lecture Hall (UM map): “State of the River Report” keynote event featuring speakers from UM, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Posters of river studies also will be on display. Free and open to the public.
  • 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 24, Davidson Honors College: Registration. 
  • 9 a.m.-noon Friday, April 24, Davidson Honors College: Twenty short talks in three concurrent sessions will summarize recent studies and actions in the basin.
  • Noon-2 p.m. Friday, April 24, University Center Atrium: More than 20 posters and displays will be available for the public to view.
  • 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, Missoula Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1100 Clark Fork Lane: The symposium will conclude with a tour of Missoula’s state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and nearby tree plantation that is irrigated with the plant’s effluent. The tour will highlight the plant’s progress toward becoming a Zero Waste facility.

Registration information and a complete 2015 symposium schedule are online at Proceedings of past symposia are on the same website. 

Symposium co-sponsors include the UM President’s Office, Watershed Health Clinic, University Center, Davidson Honors College,  Environmental Studies Program, Clark Fork Task Force, Clark Fork Coalition and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

For more information, call UM Professor Vicki Watson at 406-243-5153 or email

Contact: Vicki Watson, professor, UM Environmental Studies Program, 406-243-5153,