French Gulch and Moose Creek Restoration
Morrison-Maierle designed and oversaw implementation of restoration on over 7,400 lineal feet of French Gulch and Moose Creek in Montana’s Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. In the early 1900’s this area was mined extensively resulting in abandoned tailings piles in the floodplain. These tailings confined French Gulch, giving it no connection to a functioning floodplain and limiting complex aquatic and riparian habitat. At the Moose Creek site, remnant mining impacts were less severe but still inhibited the connection to the floodplain and stream planform. Take a look at the video below.
Morrison Maierle provided its clients, the Big Hole Watershed Committee and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) survey, aquatic and geomorphic data collection, prioritization of restoration areas, design alternatives for fundraising and permitting leading to final design, permitting, bidding, construction oversight, closeout, and post project monitoring. A broad group of public and private organizations recognized the high value project for funding including the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Department of Environmental Quality, FWP Future Fisheries Program and many others. Complete funding for the project was secured in 2016 and restoration occurred that year.
The French Gulch and Moose Creek Restoration Project at the end of construction resulted in:
• 7,400 feet of new complex stream channel
• 30,000 cubic yards of mine tailings removal
• 8 acres of newly created wetlands
• 1,100 feet of improved public road
• 2,200 riparian container plants
• 1 removal of complete fish passage barrier
Construction was completed both ahead of schedule and under budget. Monitoring of stream, floodplain, and wetlands will continue to track the restoration accomplished by this project through 2021.