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RIVER NOTES
 Montanans for Healthy Rivers Newsletter
May 2020
Photo by Ryan Cruz, Bozeman MT
Free Flowing & Clean

In these trying times, many of us look to our wild waterways and the open spaces they bisect for some semblance of normalcy. There is a degree of solace to be had in simply watching the currents of your favorite stream slip by like the amorphous minutes of another day in quarantine. 

We at Montanans for Healthy Rivers continue to work from our respective homes across the state to secure the wild rivers and scenic streams essential to the Montana way of life. We have also found more time in this eddy of social distance to reflect on the amazing group of folks that are essential to making what we do possible. We realize more than ever that our efforts are the summation of support from people such as yourselves, the thousands of individuals and businesses who have come together as a unified voice for Montana’s coveted waterways. 

Therefore, we would like to express our utmost appreciation and gratitude for all of you who have stood by us over the years. We also have a simple ask, and that is to support one another through this era of uncertainty. This can be as small as thanking a friend or neighbor if they are working in an essential capacity, or doing something to support a local business that is trying to keep the lights on with the doors closed. Remember to check with your local fly shop or paddling shop to see if they are open and what services they are offering. Community icons like Missoula’s
Trail Head, Lary’s Fly and Supply in Columbia Falls and Bozeman’s Northern Lights are open for business. 

Throughout the weeks to come, we will be highlighting individual supporters and working to provide informational resources with the hopes that Montanans for Healthy Rivers can reciprocate the years of love and support that continues to sustain us. 

If you have any interest in being highlighted in our social media feeds or newsletter, have questions or insights about river closures, social distancing guidelines, or what financial resources may exist for business owners or seasonal guides and outfitters, or maybe you just want to be social and chat with someone about rivers, please contact us. 

Like the flowing waters of our streams that carve through the rock beds that hold them, we will get through this together with patience in time and consolidated effort. 
Brian McGeehan - Montana Angler

Brian McGeehan of Montana Angler is an avid supporter of healthy rivers and healthy fish. He has spoken up for the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act in the press, donates to support the Wild Rivers Film Tour among many other conservation causes. Montana Angler recently re-opened after shutting down to protect the community. They are excited to supply the community with fly fishing supplies and guided trips based out of their shop on Bozeman Main Street!
Denny Gignoux -
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Co.


Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Co. have been longtime supporters of our work to protect rivers in Montana. They are an annual sponsor of the Wild Rivers Film Tour and give us a chance to train their guides each spring in order to carry the conservation message onward to hundreds of visitors each year. When Glacier National Park is ready to re-open, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft will be ready, too. “Safety has always been our #1 focus, and our COVID-19 policies and procedures will strictly follow guidance from Montana and the Center for Diseases Control. You can keep up with those evolving details on our dedicated page.
Dan Gigone - Sweetwater Fly Shop

Dan Gigone owns Sweetwater Fly Shop at the mouth of the Paradise Valley. He has been an unwavering proponent of new Wild and Scenic river protections in Montana for years. Dan walks the walk, supporting the Montana headwater Legacy Act through advocacy in local press, donations, and more. He and his crew at Sweetwater have put their community first by moving basic fly fishing supplies outside during the pandemic and offering private shopping for other special items. Stop by on your way between Livingston and the Paradise Valley to support the folks that support our rivers! 
Gia Randono -
Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures (LCTA)


Gia Randono, co-owner of LCTA has been a long time supporter of the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, traveling to DC to lobby our elected officials, co-presenting to trade organizations, and helping spread the word locally. LCTA are permitted river outfitters on the Lochsa and Main Salmon in Idaho and the Alberton Gorge, Blackfoot and Missouri River breaks in Montana. “Through all of this uncertainty, we are grateful to live and work in places that are geographically isolated with access to public lands. We are carefully considering how and when to begin our phased opening.”
RESOURCES

Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana (FOAM)

FOAM has worked to put together a number or resources related to COVID-19 impacts on outfitters and guides. Highlights include Montana Department of Labor unemployment access as well as options for small business funding.

Montana Guide Relief Program

The Montana Guide Relief Program and Fund is working to provide Independent Contracted guides and outfitters with critical information and connection to resources during the COVID-19 pandemic to help get through these uncertain times.

Montana Department of Labor and Industry

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has established a list of resources to help Montanans navigate unemployment or decreased employment during the COVID-19 emergency.

Riffle 

“The Smith River is Montana’s crowning jewel. Such a coveted place deserves protection and we must demand it.”

KynsLee Scott, Missoula, MT 
Photo: Jessica Haydahl
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