UM Ecological Restoration Students Invite Public to Help Restore River Confluence

April 17, 2015

MISSOULA – A group of ecological restoration students at the University of Montana and the Five Valleys Land Trust invite the public to volunteer at Fishing for Weeds from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

Participants will help remove noxious weeds and build a short trail at the confluence of Rock Creek and the Clark Fork River east of Missoula. The day will begin with an educational talk on invasive weeds and the Rock Creek site, followed by work periods with scheduled breaks. Volunteers will have a chance to win prizes in a friendly fly-casting competition at the end of the event, which also will feature food, beverages and a live band.

“Fishing for Weeds will be an amazing opportunity for community members to help restore a remarkable area while learning and having fun,” said ecological restoration student Ben Enseleit.

The students are leading the volunteer day as part of their capstone course in the UM College of Forestry and Conservation’s ecological restoration program. They’ll educate volunteers on the impact of invasive plant species, methods of eradicating infestations, and the resulting benefits to the confluence site and blue ribbon fishery.

Five Valleys Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization, acquired the Rock Creek confluence property in 2012 and has been working with several partners to restore its natural characteristics. The site has high ecological value and strong potential for outdoor recreational opportunities.

Those interested in volunteering should RSVP by April 22 to fishingforweeds2015@gmail.com. Volunteers should bring work attire and a fly rod if they plan to participate in the casting competition.

For more information call Cara Nelson, UM ecological restoration program director, at 406-243-6066 or email cara.nelson@umontana.edu

Contact: Cara Nelson, UM ecological restoration program director, 406-243-6066, cara.nelson@umontana.edu.