Hold Back the Snowpack

Big Hole Watershed Committee

Publication Date:

This short (11-minute) film highlights the ecological restoration work of the Big Hole Watershed Committee, a grassroots, consensus-based non-profit with an accomplished 25-year program focused on improving water quality and quantity for all water users.   Climate projections predict earlier snowmelts for Western Montana and hotter summers, making snowpack driven moisture and increasingly important and fragile resource.  Holding back snowpack while respecting water rights and habitat needs of fish and wildlife is critical for late-season water supplies.  This film demonstrates techniques to achieve those results, by taking cues from flood irrigators and beaver, and by treating soil as a battery that needs charging with water..

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration:
Demonstrates a focus for ecosystem restoration in arid mountain environments dominated by snowmelt-driven moisture.

STAPER categories:
  • A1: Assess degraded ecosystems
  • A3: Involve all relevant stakeholders
  • A6: Identify options to reduce the drivers biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation
  • B3: Promote and strengthen formal and informal education systems
  • B6: Review, improve or establish targets, policies and strategies for ecosystem restoration
  • C2: Consider how restoration can support sustainability of agriculture/production
  • C3: Develop ecosystem restoration plans with clear/measurable objectives and goals  
  • C5: Implement the measures
  • D3: Share lessons learned from planning, financing, implementing and monitoring ecosystem restoration plans

Resource Type:
Web-based Resource

Big Hole Watershed Committee