Channel Migration Zones

Montana Channel Migration Zone Projects - Big Hole River

The Big Hole River CMZ was originally completed in 2005 and revised in 2017 to develop a greater understanding of river dynamics, inundation potential, and channel migration potential. The Big Hole project was the first large scale CMZ mapping effort in Montana. The original project was sponsored by the Big Hole River Foundation, the Big Hole Watershed Committee, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and Beaverhead, Madison, Anaconda/Deer Lodge, and Butte Silver Bow counties.

The 2015 revision was part of a larger effort to map approximately 440 miles of river in the Upper Missouri River headwaters.  It was funded through a 2013 Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) Reclamation and Development Grants Program (RDGP) titled Upper Missouri Headwaters River/Flood Hazard Map Development. The project was administered by the Ruby Valley Conservation District, but includes input and review from stakeholders associated with each of the mapped rivers.The work was performed by Applied Geomorphology and DTM Consulting.


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