Mountain-Prairie Region  Partners for Fish & Wildlife
Mission Valley
Conservation Strategies


Habitat fragmentation and habitat degradation are the two biggest threats to the Mission Valley.  Spring creeks and streams have been overgrazed, channelized, diverted, and de-watered.  Wetlands have been drained and filled.  Upland areas are often overgrazed, and invasive species are expanding rapidly.  But these problems pale in comparison to the habitat fragmentation caused by subdivision.  Like many western Montana valleys, the Mission Valley's landscape is being carved into 20- and 40-acre subdivisions.  Unfortunately, subdivision is permanent and irreversible.

Conservation Strategies

The Montana Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program began working in the Mission Valley in 1990.  To a great extent, past Partners' efforts have focused on wetland restoration.  Over time, our restoration emphasis expanded to all habitat types including streams and riparian corridors.  Stream restoration is providing critical habitat for native and wild salmonids.  Restoring and enhancing riparian corridors improves habitat connectivity for bears and migratory birds.  Working cooperatively with private landowners to restore habitat will continue to be a key component of our conservation efforts in the Mission Valley.

Partners biologist and landowner looking at a wetland restoration
7-acre wetland establishment
along the Mission Mountains.

Reducing or preventing subdivision is another goal in the valley.   Montana Partners for Fish and Wildlife is working with Refuge and Realty staffs to identify potential easement tracts.  Tracts immediately adjacent to Wetland Protection Areas or National Wildlife Refuges receive top priority.

photo of prairie potholes in the Mission Valley
Prairie pothole complex under perpetual protection.

We are also working with  the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe within the Clarke Fork Watershed and helping them with their efforts to restore the Jocko River.

The costs for habitat restoration in this Focus Area are:

  • Wetland Restoration - $600/acre
  • Upland Restoraiton - $10/acre
  • In-Stream Restoration - $9.50/linear foot
  • Riparian Restoration - $1.50/linear foot

Future Needs

  • Restore 4,000 acres of wetlands on private and tribal lands within this Focus Area.
  • Enhance or restore 50,000 acres of grasslands.
  • Restore 175 miles of in-stream or riparian habitat.