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16 leaksWalks and Talks: Monday March 24- 'Too Many Straws: The Water Use Loophole That's Threatening our Rivers'

Learn about the latest threat to our river, exempt wells. This loophole under Montana water law allows developers to install unlimited numbers of drinking water wells in residential subdivisions, essentially "cutting in line" ahead of other water users. This loophole allows developers to avoid the permitting process, disregard the cumulative impact of clustered wells on groundwater supplies, and ignore the impacts on nearby landowner's water supplies. 

 At this Walk & Talk join CFC's Legal Director, Barbara Chillcott, as she brings participants up to speed on the exempt well issue  in Montana and learn about the Coalition's efforts to resolve this issue through legal action and negotiation with the Department of Natural Resource Conservation. Take this opportunity to take action as Barbara explains how you can help CFC close this loophole at the legislature in 2015. 



> Monday March 24


> Meet at the Coalition offices, 140 S. 4th St. W.

> Free and open to the public 

> Questions? Contact Ellie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for more information   


 Past 2013 Walks & Talks 

'Learn to Track Snowpack' is part of the Clark Fork Coalition’s monthly Walks & Talks series, and will feature a presentation by specialists from the Montana Snow Survey Program, which provides mountain snowpack data and streamflow forecasts for Montana.

 Brian Domonkos, the Water Supply Specialist from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Montana Snow Survey Program, will provide participants with the most up-to-date information on the 2013 snowpack, illustrate how snow surveys help scientists estimate what to expect during spring runoff, and discuss how the Clark Fork River’s hydrology will be affected by this year’s winter weather. Participants will also witness a demonstration of real-time snowpack data collection, and have a chance to collect useable data of their own.

Interested in learning more about snowpack levels across the Clark Fork basin? The Coalition is offering new ways for people to participate in snowpack data collection as a citizen scientists. Visit the Coalition’s volunteer page for more information on CFC’s new snowpack monitoring volunteer program.

'Down the Drain: A Water Treatment Tour'

Ever wonder what happens to water once it is flushed down the toilet or goes down the drain? Join the Clark Fork Coalition on Wednesday, March 13 from 12-1pm for "Down the Drain", a free tour at Missoula's Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of our monthly 'Walk & Talk' series. Participants will have the chance to take a tour of the entire facility, and see first-hand how more then 6 million tons of wastewater is treated and cleaned on a daily basis before being returned to the Clark Fork River. Plus, wastewater specialists will be available to answer questions, explain how resulting byproducts are recycled, and help participants better understand how water conservation and good wastewater treatment go hand-in-hand. 

 'Explore Missoula's Urban Islands'

The days are growing longer and the afternoons are getting warmer, so join us outside to the enjoy the spring weather at our next Walk & Talk. We'll explore Missoula's recently purchased conservation lands parcel, "Broadway Island" with Conservation Lands Manager, Morgan Valliant. Get up to speed on what the city plans to do with this land, and learn about the results of the property's land survey. We'll practice identifying some of the invasive weeds and trees on the island, while learning about how they are impacting the riparian ecosystem and how the city plans to manage them. 

'Watery Worlds Screening at the International Wildlife Film Festival'

Imagine having the opportunity to travel across the globe to explore the watery habitats of Brazil, Iceland, Bangladesh, and more. CFC and the International Wildlife Film Festival are giving you the chance to do just that, without even leaving Missoula. Join us for this month's Walk & Talk at the Watery Worlds film screening on Saturday May 4th, at 5pm at the Roxy Theater in downtown Missoula. Filmmaker Gavin Maxwell will take viewers across the world to reveal the secrets of our world's water habitats focusing on the oxygen and sediment that they carry, and how the remarkable animals living in them manage these resources. Stick around after the film for a quick message about the CFC's work on Missoula's greatest watery world, the Clark Fork River.  

'What does Superfund Listing Mean for Smurfit Stone?'

In May the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add Smurfit Stone to the National Priorities List, making the site eligible for comprehensive assessment and cleanup under the Superfund program. Join us for this month's Walk & Talk where CFC's Science Director, Chris Brick, will provide the latest information about what this proposed superfund listing means for the Smurfit Stone site and why the CFC supports it. While you're here, make a difference by writing a postcard to the EPA to express your opinion with the help of CFC staff.  

 'State of the Fishery'

In mid-October state officials issued fish consumption advisories for northern pike and rainbow trout along a 105-mile stretch of the Clark Fork River from the Clark Fork's confluence with the Bitterroot River near Missoula to its confluence with the Flathead River near Paradise. Highly toxic and carcinogenic dioxins, furans and PCBs -- contaminants commonly associated with the pulp and paper industry -- were recently found in fish below the former Smurfit-Stone paper mill, triggering the advisories.

At the November 2013 Walk & Talk, CFC Science Director Dr. Chris Brick led a panel of conservation professionals to: discuss the details of this consumption advisory, provide an update on the potential Superfund designation at Smurfit-Stone, and provide specifics regarding impacts to human and environmental health in the area. 

We're keeping members and interested citizens up-to-speed on hot topics and happenings in the Clark Fork watershed through our monthly "Walks and Talks" series.

Join us every month for tours, workshops, lectures, and hands-on activities.

Do you have an idea for a Walk & Talk topic in 2013? Let us know!