Teller Wildlife Refuge is wrapping up a wetlands restoration project this week that aims to transform approximately 9 acres of cheatgrass meadow back into wetlands.
Maps from the 1950s show braided channels of the Bitterroot River weaving through the project area. Until two weeks those were upland fields. The project design was conceived to restore the natural water flow back into the system, allowing existing wetlands adjacent the project area to expand back into their historic footprint.
“Basically, in restoring the hydrology, that’s going to reconnect these old flood channels, so this will be seasonal wetlands,” said Sam Lawry, Teller Wildlife Refuge executive director. “So, from our conservation perspective, we took what was a cheatgrass meadow and restored it into an emergent marsh complex.”