The "Roots Against Erosion" project is planned for Hamilton's newest park, Skalkaho Bend. As part of their studies of the Bitterroot River, the Bitter Root Water Forum has been looking at images from the last quarter century. They noticed that at Skalkaho Bend the river has been moving eastward about five feet every year.

To hold onto that land and stabilize the stream bank, the organization has planned an ambitious planting of trees and bushes (willows, serviceberries, aspen and cottonwood) along the bend to hold the bank together. The plantings will be in a shallow depression and will be fenced for their first five years of growth. As part of the project, the water forum has been having volunteer days where people are collecting willow shoots from around the Bitterroot Valley. Katie Vennie of the forum told us that the next collection is Wednesday, February 17. (The February 13 collection was cancelled due to the cold weather.) Another collection day is being scheduled at the end of February. Email Ellie at the water forum if you want to volunteer. The address is:

Meanwhile, the Bitter Root Water Forum is again bringing the "International Fly Fishing Festival (IF4)" to the valley - only this time it's virtual. You can check the details and buy a $15 ticket at their website. The show will be Wednesday, February 26 at 7 p.m., but at that time you have 48 hours (until February 26 a 7 p.m.) to activate your ticket - which gives you 7 days at your leisure to see the films collected from all over the world. However, the location where you view the festival is limited. This event (along with many more future things offered on the internet) is "geofenced" on the internet to only Montana and Idaho web users.

You can also buy an online raffle ticket at the Bitter Root Water Forum's Facebook page. Only 100 of those tickets will be sold at $20 each for a fly-fishing trip with Eddie Olwell of FishsEddyO Outfitters.

The Bitter Root Water Forum is on the 100 block of South 2nd Street in downtown Hamilton.

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