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.
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
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.
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
- Riparian Restoration - $1.50/linear foot
- Restore 4,000 acres of wetlands on
private and tribal lands within this Focus Area.
- Enhance or restore 50,000 acres of
- Restore 175 miles of in-stream or