Flathead Rivers Alliance (FRA) has secured $103,000 in partnership agreements and grants, launching the 2021 River Ambassador Program and setting the stage for 2022.

FRA will expand its team by adding a Big Sky Watershed Corps member. Programs and projects in 2022 include expanding the Recreate Responsibly and River Ambassador programs, river recreation monitoring survey pilot program, partnering with DREAM Adaptive to conduct assessment of barriers and study of universal design accessibility opportunities at river access sites, capacity building around water quality monitoring, developing the river youth safety and etiquette program, and re-engaging the Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) for the Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River.

With a record river user year for the Three Forks of the Flathead, FRA found success through education, stewardship and outreach, working alongside partners to maintain the health of the Flathead River, and ensuring access and enjoyment for all users. Partners included Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Flathead Conservation District, guide and outfitter services and others. Committed agreement and grant funds for 2021/2022 provided by National Park Foundation, Whitefish Community Foundation, Flathead Rural Advisory Committees, MWCC Watershed Fund, and Flathead National Forest Guides and Outfitters Receipt Fees.

The River Ambassador Program’s inaugural year resulted in over 108 volunteer hours served at pop-up information booths at popular river access sites, coordination of over 80 volunteers on the Three Forks of Flathead during county-wide Flathead Waters Cleanup event, a partner float, and education programming for over 40 river guides. The strength of the pilot program was partnership with agencies and eagerness from the public to engage and volunteer.

More information on how to volunteer, donate, and quick reference CRMP FAQ can be found HERE.

- by Sheena H. Pate, Watershed Coordinator, Flathead Rivers Alliance -