Originating in British Columbia, Canada, the Kootenai River flows into northwest Montana and through northern Idaho before returning to B.C. Throughout the past century, the cumulative effect of continually increasing human land use pressures, including agriculture, logging, mining and flood control, has produced landscape-scale changes throughout the lower Kootenai River and its tributary streams. With several Kootenai River fish species in danger of extinction, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho set out to develop a program to recover native fish by rehabilitating and protecting the watershed ecosystems in Idaho’s lower Kootenai River valley.
The Teton River’s watershed drains a mountainous area spanning portions of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. While human residents occupy much of the lower valley, the upper watershed is home to iconic species such as grizzly bear and Yellowstone cutthroat trout. The Friends of the Teton River’s vision is to work collaboratively with their community and partners to build an ecologically and economically healthy watershed.
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s early efforts to restore Benewah Creek included large-scale, on-the-ground restoration projects designed to improve habitat for native cutthroat trout. However, over time Tribal biologists realized that their ability to monitor the effect of these efforts was insufficient to inform future restoration management decisions.