Teton River, ID/WY
The Teton River’s watershed drains a mountainous area spanning portions of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. Its headwaters originate in the Teton, Big Hole and Snake River mountain ranges, and it ultimately flows into the Henrys Fork of the Snake River. 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 (FTR) vision is to work collaboratively with their community and partners to build an ecologically and economically healthy watershed. Their long-term goal is to restore clean water, healthy stream habitat and—of particular importance to stakeholders in the watershed—native Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
To achieve this goal FTR has built a multi-faceted program that focuses on stream flow restoration, watershed education targeting K-12 students and adults, and habitat restoration. Through a suite of programs, they seek to create a new water stewardship ethic among all water users in the river basin.
Despite tremendous progress building community support and carrying out major restoration projects, funding limitations have challenged FTR’s ability to carefully measure the results of their work. Without long-term monitoring in place, FTR was not able to learn from past experiences and communicate progress to their community. In 2009, FTR and BEF partnered to develop a 10-year Model Watershed strategy.
The Model Watershed partnership is helping advance comprehensive and adaptable restoration program in the Teton River watershed. BEF’s funding directly contributes to the development and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring program, effectively addressing the group’s need to continually learn and adapt from their results.
—Amy Verbeten, Executive Director, Friends of the Teton River