Land & Natural Resources


Riparian areas are typical of those found along high gradient channels in the steep, rocky, mountainous areas of Montana, and typically possess only a narrow band of riparian vegetation situated immediately adjacent to the stream channel. The ranch is bisected by Tom Miner Creek, to which numerous smaller creeks serve as tributaries. The riparian system (including several heavily willow-dominated swampy areas) provides spawning ground for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, home for beavers, nesting areas for sandhill cranes, and summer habitat for other smaller waterfowl.

In 1998 we began work to establish a self-regulating and sustaining riparian system along an old irrigation ditch that draws from Skully Creek. This system now consists of a series of channels, pools, and streams designed for year-round flows.

Bank stabilization of Tom Miner Creek began in 1999 along a particularly unstable stretch of the creek. The restoration design utilizes native willows from on-site sources, with transplantation efforts attempting to emulate natural patterns of plant colonization found elsewhere within the riparian corridor. This project continues today.