Forward Thinking

20130702221413

I can’t count the times I’ve driven I-15 north out of Helena toward Great Falls and crossed the Missouri River at this bridge. Most of the time, I’m thinking that I’m finally out of the worst of the twists and turns and headed toward a relatively straight and flat stretch into Great Falls.

In the 1960s, when this bridge and the highway it carries were built, preserving the integrity of the Missouri and other watercourses on the way nearly got thrown under the proverbial bus.

But a handful of  biologists like Jim Posewitz stood up and advocated for stream preservation. They said that studies had shown highway construction that converted meandering streams into straight channels was destroying Montana’s fisheries. Eve Byron wrote a great story about it in the current issue of Montana Quarterly.

The result of Jim’s and others’ advocacy was the passage of the Montana Stream Preservation Act in 1963.

20140109153531

Now, as Jim looks out over Helena from his office window, he can know that he made a difference in preserving what today is one of Montana’s proudest attributes — its world-class fishing. And as we all drive the Interstates through Montana, we can thank Jim as we cross the rivers and creeks.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: