Natural Resource Damage Protection Program – Yellowstone Oil Spill Recovery

Technical Consulting | 2019-2020


Yellowstone River, Laurel, Montana

In Support Of
  • Natural Resource Damage Protection (NRDP) Program

Project Summary

Watershed District: 
Upper Yellowstone

Montana Freshwater Partners is collaborating with private consulting partners in a contract with the Natural Resource Damage Protection (NRDP) Program to evaluate properties and potential project sites to offset impacts resulting from the 2011 ExxonMobil oil spill on the Yellowstone River. 

Using funds from the ExxonMobil settlement, NRDP contracted Montana Freshwater Partners to support a geomorphic assessment of properties along the Lower Yellowstone River that the NRDP was interested in acquiring for preservation. Montana Freshwater Partners was also contracted to support a river corridor restoration assessment to prioritize and rank parcels for large woody debris recruitment and other restoration targets.

Building upon this work, Montana Freshwater Partners and project partners evaluated the Yellowstone corridor for opportunities to implement Channel Migration Easements that would protect the river’s ability to migrate across the floodplain in areas that also scored high on the large woody debris recruitment and restoration prioritization assessment. In addition, Montana Freshwater Partners is providing technical expertise and assistance in building the language and documentation for the site protection instrument (deed restriction or Channel Migration Easement) that would be used for future projects.