University of Montana provides skills for state’s growing restoration economy

It was less than 10 years ago that a piece of property at the confluence of Rock Creek and the Upper Clark Fork River was earmarked for a controversial housing development.

Now, University of Montana students are teaming with the Five Valleys Land Trust turning past mistakes into a bright future for public access and the environment. For the second season in a row, students in the university’s heavy equipment program are repairing and restoring.

Although Five Valleys Land Trust was able to access funding from Missoula County’s Open Space Bond Fund, it’s the cooperation with UM that’s making all this work affordable.

In addition to that partnership we’re also working the University of Montana’s ecological restoration program. And those two things are important in and of themselves. But we are are really proud to be training the next generation of restoration professionals.

There’s river and stream restoration. There’s mine reclamation as you mentioned. The restoration economy cycles with with the economy so I’m saying it’s on the upswing again now,” Frost told MTN News.

And with Montana’s growing restoration economy, this is job experience that could be invaluable on a resume.

Note from Storm: I’m very happy to see this program, since I helped Governor Brian Schweitzer design and launch the Montana Restoration Economy initiative back in 2006.

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