The abundance of wetlands in the Swan Valley makes this river valley unique among all watersheds in western Montana. The valley floor holds more surface water than any other Montana watershed; 16 percent of the land base is comprised of wetlands. Water collects in over 4,000 potholes, ponds, lakes, marshes and peatlands, and a 1,300-mile network of streams transports water throughout the valley. These wetlands, and all of the connected riparian linkages that run between them, function as high quality habitat for many of our most sensitive species, both plant and animal. Wetlands also perform important ecosystem services such as water filtration, flood control, and groundwater recharge. Wetlands in the Swan Valley are threatened by conversion, being drained to promote pasture or dredged to create ponds.

A ditched and drained wetland prior to restoring its natural hydrology.  

A ditched and drained wetland prior to restoring its natural hydrology.

 

Restored hydrology of the same wetland after restoration work was completed.

Restored hydrology of the same wetland after restoration work was completed.

Wetlands start to refill in the Swan Valley
By LAURA LUNDQUIST, Montana on the Ground, October 23, 2015

We work closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a wetlands restoration program designed to restore degraded or manipulated systems on private lands to their natural hydrologic function.

More info:
www.fws.gov/partners/

Contact:
Luke Lamar, Conservation Director
406.754.3137
luke@svconnections.org


IMAGE: Top - John Lambing