Free Lecture on February 7th at The Community Library!

Gravel-bed Rivers in the Northern Rockies: Why mountain rivers are so important and why you should care

Gravel-bed rivers like the Big Wood can be found all over the Rocky Mountains and are the ecological centers of mountain landscapes. While we generally understand that these freestone rivers play important roles, we don’t always understand the impacts and interconnectedness of these rivers or the effects humans have upon them.

Dr. Ric Hauer

The Wood River Land Trust and our partners are honored to bring Dr. Ric Hauer, the director of the University of Montana’s Center for Integrated Research on the Environment, to the valley to present his ground-breaking findings during his free talk, “Gravel-bed Rivers in the Northern Rockies: Why mountain rivers are so important and why you should care,” at The Community Library in Ketchum on Wednesday, February 7th from 6 to 7:30pm.

Dr. Hauer will discuss natural stream functions, terrestrial/aquatic productivity and how some river restoration practices have compromised our systems today. Dr. Hauer will give examples of restoration practices that do, and don’t, work and will provide the rationale for these findings. The articulate and entertaining doctor will also answer questions after his presentation.

“To be effective, conservation efforts in mountain landscapes need a paradigm shift that has gravel-bed rivers and their floodplains as the central focus,” Dr. Hauer’s study states. “One that prioritizes the maintenance or restoration of the intact structure and processes of these critically important systems throughout their length and breadth.”

Dr. Hauer has conducted research around the eastern Pacific-rim, from Alaska to Patagonia, with his primary research being the transboundary Crown-of-the-Continent Ecosystem and the Flathead River system of Montana and British Columbia. Dr. Hauer’s love for streams and rivers and their roles as disproportionately important components of biodiversity of mountain landscapes drives his passion. In addition to his academic research, Dr. Hauer has served in development, implementation and assessment of environmental policy for the Clean Water Act, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency.

The presentation is being sponsored by the Wood River Land Trust, The Community Library, the cities of Hailey and Ketchum, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and Flood Control District #9. For any questions, please contact Mike McKenna at mmckenna@woodriverladntrust.org or call 208.788.3947.