Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

PPLT, Sevenmile Creek Recognized for Adding Helena Water “Storage”

      In a lengthy Lee Newspaper statewide article titled “Reflecting on Water: Montana Operators Look Back on Summer of Drought,” a little nugget of information about the Prickly Pear Land Trust’s Sevenmile Creek restoration project touted the project’s value for water conservation.

     From the article: Prickly Pear Land Trust saw the effects of reconnecting Sevenmile Creek with its floodplain northwest of Helena. The trust acquired over 2 miles of the stream in 2016 as part of its Peaks to Creeks initiative and has been restoring it since then.

     The stream had been straightened years ago for unclear purposes. It ended up carving itself into a trench, with places where the banks were 14 feet above the streambed, according to Nate Kopp with the trust. With the creek rerouted to meander in its original floodplain, he said the water became more accessible to the landscape and groundwater levels rose by 7 to 10 feet.

     In the face of early spring runoff and warmer temperatures, water shortages—and drought—appear to be increasingly prevalent. Kevin League, PPLT lands project manager, noted in an email that additional Montana land trusts are actively working on projects that conserve water. 

PHOTO: Sevenmile Creek