A Partnership to Improve the Upper Blackfoot River

Some projects are improved by collaboration. That’s why Bayer, J.R. Simplot and Nutrien teamed up with two conservation groups to create the Upper Blackfoot Confluence (UBC), a partnership dedicated to improving the streams and trout fishery of the Upper Blackfoot River watershed.  This area contains mines that produce 22 percent of the nation’s phosphate, and mining companies are invested in sustainability efforts in the region.

Beginning in 2012, UBC has sponsored a number of projects such as replacing old irrigation diversions with fish friendly structures, reducing livestock impacts to streams, and restoring stream banks and native vegetation. This decade long effort is showing results as in 2020, the spawning run of mature cutthroat fish reached its highest level in over a decade. The projects and work are guided by a rigorous assessment of habitat conditions, which included a comprehensive technical baseline of ecological conditions before commencing any projects.

UBC does not work alone.  They work collaboratively with local landowners, ranchers and federal and state agencies.  These partners are essential to the success that has been achieved and to our future work.