Reclamation & Restoration
Ranch and Riparian Habitat Restoration & Rehabilitation
Westscape has participated in numerous past and ongoing projects that focus on improving the riparian habitat and the overall economic enhancement of degraded ranch lands and large-scale landscape; providing both native plant material and expert consultation for long-term sustainability while creating improved recreational opportunities. We currently have ranch projects on the Ruby, Beaverhead, Jefferson, and Yellowstone rivers in Montana and have worked on the Big Hole, Madison, Gallatin, Stillwater rivers as well as many smaller stream systems throughout the region. Westscape typically works closely with a team of scientists and engineers that includes Scott Gillilan, fluvial hydrologist (Gillilan & Assoc.), Karen Boyd, geomorphologist, Applied Geomorphology), and Jason and Jeremy Miller (Miller Recreational Development) all of Bozeman, MT. Video clips and pictures can be seen at the Miller Recreation link below.
Silver Bow Creek, Anaconda, and the Upper Clark Fork River Basin.
Westscape is the principal private nursery supplier of native shrubs to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites near Butte, Anaconda, Opportunity, and Warm Springs; all part the vast Upper Clark Fork River Basin Restoration area of western Montana. These areas are administered by the Montana Department of Justice - Natural Resource Damage Program and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, working together on remediation efforts.
The region encompasses numerous riparian and upland reclamation sites and together form the largest EPA Superfund area in the U.S. The Upper Clark Fork drainage system spans more than 22,000 square miles. Damage to the natural resources of this region were created by historical mining and smelting operations at Butte and Anaconda. These disturbed sites are often dominated by high levels of heavy metals and low soil pH. Remediation and reclamation efforts by the state began in 1999 and are expected to continue well into the future. For more information on these projects follow the state government links above. For news from the Clark Fork Coalition, a citizen’s non-profit organization go to:
Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge (Charlie Russell NWR), Rapelje, MT.
In 2009, Westscape Nursery began a multi-year project with the U.S. Department of the Interior via the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop strategies for reclamation of the shoreline regions of Hailstone Reservoir on the refuge. Hailstone which is part of the larger Charlie Russell NWR was considered one of the ten most endangered refuges in the U.S. system due to years of accumulated toxic salts and selenium in the basin. These accumulations posed unacceptable risks to migratory waterfowl and shore birds and were responsible for mortality and birth defects in birds frequenting the refuge. Westscape used a halophytic plant (highly saline tolerant) that it developed though a USDA-SBIR grant to help in the eventual shoreline reclamation of the reservoir. The halophytes were instrumental as a “nurse crop” for the establishment of native range grasses. In 2012 Westscape received the Environmental Leadership Award in Environmental Remediation from the USFWS for its efforts on the refuge. Today much of the target shoreline areas have been successfully restored to native range grasses which are providing habitat for upland birds and other wildlife.
The Nature Conservancy – Hell Roaring Creek & Long Creek, Centennial Valley, MT
In 2009, Westscape Nursery began working with the Montana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy in efforts to restore riparian habitat along Hell Roaring Creek and more recently on Long Creek in the striking Centennial Valley of SW Montana. The Centennial Mountains form a rugged, high mountain border between Montana and Idaho. The expansive valley below is one of the most pristine and remote areas of Montana and is home to grizzly bear, wolves, elk, moose, and more than 260 species of birds. Hell Roaring Creek is one of the last places on earth where Arctic grayling trout survive. Years of intensive cattle grazing along the creek had degraded riparian shrub habitat (principally willows) which is critical for healthy stream flow, beaver activity, and providing suitable areas for grayling breeding. Westscape and its partners initiated a multi-year program of native willow seed collection and propagation for planting on the creek. Today, Hell Roaring Creek has been successfully revegetated with vigorous stands of native willow populations providing critical habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife. In 2015 a similar program was instituted on Long Creek. The Long Creek drainage was once a major wildlife corridor for migrating grizzly bears, black bears, and large ungulates moving back and forth across the valley through Montana and Idaho. Years of overgrazing have denuded the drainage of willow and other shrub cover used by migrating animals.
Watch this this beautifully filmed video of the Centennial Valley produced by Victor Daniel.
The Beartooth Scenic Hwy. Montana and Wyoming
The Beartooth Highway which runs from east of Yellowstone National Park to Red Lodge, MT is one of America’s most iconic and scenic roads. It covers 68 miles over some of the roughest high alpine terrain in the lower 48 states. The road spans parts of Montana and Wyoming through an array of glaciers, lakes, and 12,000 ft. peaks. Westscape Nursery is currently working on a multi-year restoration project which involves collecting native seed and plant material for propagation and replanting along the highway. More information about the Beartooth Hwy including videos can be viewed at:
Yellowstone National Park – Gardiner Gateway Project
From 2015-2016, Westscape has been providing native plant material for the restoration of the iconic Teddy Roosevelt Arch site at the Park’s North Entrance in Gardiner, MT. This project is being done in conjunction with John Powers of Great Northern Properties of Bozeman, the National Park Service, and other state and local agencies.
Montana Wounded Warrior Project
In 2016, Westscape working in conjunction with Lynn Bacon of TerraAquatic is providing willows and other riparian shrubs for the new Wounded Warriors facility north of Belgrade, MT. Wounded Warriors gives disabled veterans an opportunity to learn and experience fly fishing Montana’s serene outdoors.