Anaconda, Montana, United States
Certified Gold through 2022
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Dutchman Avian Species
Dutchman Invasive Species
Dutchman - Awareness & Community Engagement
Awareness & Community Engagement
About the Program
BP Dutchman is located north of Anaconda, Montana in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin of southwest Montana. The Dutchman site sits in close proximity to the historic smelting activities of the Anaconda Smelter, which puts the Dutchman in a designated high arsenic area and requires permanent vegetative cover in order to mitigate contamination of surface and groundwater. The site goes above and beyond this, however, and contains 3,447 acres of wetlands and grasslands that the team at BP actively manages for the benefit of wildlife.
Practices and Impacts
- Wetlands and associated grasslands on the site were brought into restorative management by constructing site fencing to stop livestock grazing that was negatively impacting vegetation, and by restricting public vehicle access and replacing it with trails, allowing native plant species to recover and thrive. Ongoing annual maintenance of the site includes treatment of invasive plants, fence and access inspections, vegetation assessments, and erosion monitoring.
- The team controls invasive Canada thistle at the site through the introduction of Canada thistle stem weevils. The team continues to monitors weevil and thistle populations annually.
- Bird use of the site is monitored annually, with surveys taken in the spring and fall migrations as well as during nesting seasons. The goal of this project to track avian populations in the project area, as they are indicators of overall habitat quality. As of 2019, 120 bird species in 35 families have been identified on site.
- Efforts to improve sitewide vegetation have improved mammalian habitat in the project area, and the team also maintains smooth wire wildlife-friendly fences to allow mammals to pass through the site. Wildlife surveys are conducted annually in the spring along six designated transects of the property, and elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, and moose are all regularly observed. As such, the team has partnered with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks' to jointly manage these populations through the department's Wild Game Management Program. By providing public access to sustainable hunting, the team are able to control populations at or below the carrying capacity of the rangeland and develop healthy age classes, recruitment, and critical rest and forage for wintering and spring natal periods.
- The team has equipped the site with public restroom facilities, maintained trails, interpretive signs, and bird watching checklists to allow public access, assist in sustainable hunting, and ensure the community is engaged with this large area of regionally significant habitat.
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