Conserving Our Rivers and Way of Life

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Montana’s free-flowing rivers and clean water are critical to our state’s prosperity, our unmatched way of life, and to our flourishing fish and wildlife. From the Flathead to the Yellowstone, from the Clark Fork to the Missouri, rivers are the lifeblood of Montana. They provide us with drinking water, irrigation water, and world-class recreational opportunities. Montana’s traditional agricultural economy and our rapidly growing $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy thrive on the abundance of healthy rivers and clean water. All Montanans – anglers and agriculture producers, cowboys and kayakers – understand our state’s history is tied to our rivers. Now is the time to conserve the most important headwaters streams on Montana’s public lands.
Starting in 2010, Montana residents, business owners, sportsmen and sportswomen, and conservationists joined forces under the banner of Montanans for Healthy Rivers to identify and conserve the last, best free-flowing rivers in Montana. After nearly decade of public outreach during which we conducted hundreds of meetings and earned the endorsements of nearly 3,000 Montanans and more than 1,000 Montana businesses, we have drafted The Montana Headwaters Security Act. Once it passes, this legislation will designate 37 new Wild & Scenic Rivers in two of Montana’s most iconic landscapes – the Crown of the Continent surrounding Glacier National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone National Park, protecting our outdoor recreation and agriculture jobs and guaranteeing that our Montana way of life will endure for generations to come. Montana still has what the rest of the country wants – plentiful clean water and free-flowing streams, and we Montanans know there are some waters that are too important to jeopardize. Let’s not be complacent and wait for the next threat from out of state water interests. Now is the time to act. The Montana Headwaters Security Act is our made-in-Montana insurance plan to keep our rivers healthy in the face of a changing climate and rapid population growth. Join us in conserving Montana’s next Wild & Scenic Rivers.

Draft Legislation

Montana Headwaters Security Act

The Montana Headwaters Security Act is draft legislation for new Wild and Scenic river designations on some of the best rivers and streams on public lands in Montana. This draft legislation is the culmination of seven years of outreach to a broad cross-section of Montanans from across the state. During this time we have met with over 500 business owners, watershed groups, land trusts, recreation groups, riverside landowners, sportsmen and sportswomen, conservation organizations and other stakeholders. What we heard at those meetings mirrored what we learned in two bipartisan polls in 2013 and 2016 – Montanans love their rivers and want to see more of them protected using the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is the highest form of river protection in the United States. This born-in-Montana law protects a river’s free-flowing character, clean water and a set of outstanding values unique to each river. Less than 1 percent of our nation’s river miles are protected as Wild and Scenic and less half of one percent of the rivers in Montana are permanently protected. Click here for more information about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and what it means when a river is designed as "Wild and Scenic."
This interactive map and table contain the list of rivers that people like you have said they want to see protected for future generations. Over 1,000 Montana businesses and 3,000 Montana residents have endorsed the Montana Headwaters Security Act.
Mouse over a river for its name and click on a river for more information and a photo. For a complete list of rivers in table format, please click here. If you'd like to see a PDF of the entire map click here.

who we are

Paul Robertson
Sage Lodge
Emigrant, MT
Tom Healy
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Dillon, MT
Russell Parks
Missoulian Angler
Missoula, MT
Whitney Milhoan
Casting for Recovery
Bozeman, MT
Jessica Lucey
Great Northern Brewing
Whitefish, MT
Hilary Hutcheson
Outside Media
Columbia Falls, MT
Kascie Herron
American Rivers
Victor, MT
Will Hammerquist
Polebridge Mercantile
Polebridge, MT
Greg Haller
Pacific Rivers
Portland, OR
Kristin Gardner
Gallatin River Task Force
Big Sky, MT
Eric Adams
Montana Flyfishing Guides
Livingston, MT
Joe Biby
Wilderness River Outfitters
Kalispell, MT
Scott Bosse
American Rivers
Bozeman, MT
Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater
Missoula, MT
Darcy Cook
Granite Sports Medicine
Livingston, MT
Robin Cunningham
Fishing Outfitter Association of Montana
Bozeman, MT
Charles Wolf Drimal
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Bozeman, MT
Becky Edwards
Montana Mountain Mamas
Bozeman, MT
Todd Frank
The Trail Head
Missoula, MT
Mike Fiebig
American Rivers
Bozeman, MT
See a complete list of Montana businesses and organizations that
endorse the Montana Headwaters Security Act.
Paul Robertson
Sage Lodge
Emigrant, MT
Tom Healy
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Dillon, MT
Russell Parks
Missoulian Angler
Missoula, MT
Whitney Milhoan
Casting for Recovery
Bozeman, MT
Jessica Lucey
Great Northern Brewing
Whitefish, MT
Hilary Hutcheson
Outside Media
Columbia Falls, MT
Kascie Herron
American Rivers
Victor, MT
Will Hammerquist
Polebridge Mercantile
Polebridge, MT
Greg Haller
Pacific Rivers
Portland, OR
Kristin Gardner
Gallatin River Task Force
Big Sky, MT
Eric Adams
Montana Flyfishing Guides
Livingston, MT
Joe Biby
Wilderness River Outfitters
Kalispell, MT
Scott Bosse
American Rivers
Bozeman, MT
Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater
Missoula, MT
Darcy Cook
Granite Sports Medicine
Livingston, MT
Robin Cunningham
Fishing Outfitter Association of Montana
Bozeman, MT
Charles Wolf Drimal
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Bozeman, MT
Becky Edwards
Montana Mountain Mamas
Bozeman, MT
Todd Frank
The Trail Head
Missoula, MT
Mike Fiebig
American Rivers
Bozeman, MT

take action

Your Help Is Needed to Protect Montana’s Best Rivers
Join us in conserving Montana’s next Wild & Scenic Rivers. Submit your endorsement in the form below, or better yet call or email Montana’s U.S. Senators Tester and Daines and Representative Gianforte and ask them to introduce and pass the Montana Headwaters Security Act!
add your endorsement
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Contact your congressional delegation

Office of Senator
Jon Tester
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2604
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Email Senator Tester

Office of Senator
Steve Daines
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2651
Email Senator Daines

Office of Congressman
Greg Gianforte
1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3211
Email Rep. Gianforte

Some pointers for your phone call:

  1. Introduce yourself - your name, where you are from.
  2. State why rivers in Montana are important to you.
  3. Ask them to introduce the Montana Headwaters Security Act. Express that we cannot afford to wait for threats to our rivers before we protect them - NOW is the perfect time to protect our best streams.
Your Help Is Needed to Protect Montana’s Best Rivers
Join us in conserving Montana’s next Wild & Scenic Rivers. Submit your endorsement in the form below, or better yet call or email Montana’s U.S. Senators Tester and Daines and Representative Gianforte and ask them to introduce and pass the Montana Headwaters Security Act!    

Office of Senator
Jon Tester
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2604
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Email Senator Tester

Office of Senator
Steve Daines
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2651
Email Senator Daines

Office of Congressman
Greg Gianforte
1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3211
Email Rep. Gianforte

NEWS

Podcast: Protecting the Montana Headwaters, with Scott Bosse

This week, I talk with Scott Bosse of American Rivers on the Montana Headwaters Security Act, a 7-year program that will hopefully come to fruition in 2020.
Read More

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