We heard the other night at a meeting of the Milltown Superfund Working Group that the Clark Fork River will be “returned” to its new channel by Christmas 2010, a long-awaited gift for all of us!
As we watch the progress on the Blackfoot River, cleanup at the Stimson “hot pond” is progressing and trucks leave regularly for the landfill in Missoula. We also heard from representatives of the National Resource Damage Program that there are concerns that additional contamination may exist under the old mill buildings. This could spell some challenges for historic preservation efforts in the future.
The harvest of old mill logs in the Blackfoot seems to have been a “bumper crop” this year, and we are told to expect even more to appear after next spring runoff and for several years into the future. An unusual gift from our logging ancestors!
A new manager has been hired by Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the new park at the Confluence, and we are excited about seeing the elements of the Confluence master plan fall into place. The addition of the Plum Creek properties along the Blackfoot River promise even more wonderful public access and trails for the future generations.
Fo2R held a well-attended Community at the Confluence event at the old dam site last fall, complete with an ice cream truck. And mark your calendars: the 6th annual Hooked on Art is set for next February 12, 2011. It's bigger and better than ever!
I think about the how the blanket of snow brightens the drab colors of winter and visually ties all the pieces of the landscape together like a table cloth. This year as you sit down at your holiday dinner table, look out the window and reflect on the “table” that has been set for us in the natural environment.
May you all have a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!!