The attached video is from a KTVH news report. We thank them for their interest and for coming out to see the project.
Several months ago, the CD was approached by a landowner on the north shore of Lake Helena. He had purchased the property and realized that he was losing a considerable amount of bank every year–that he is essentially paying taxes on about 4 acres of property that are now underwater.
He was so interested in doing a different type of project, that he drove over to Musselshell County to help out on a Willow Soil Lift Project on the Musselshell River. After he helped out on that, he applied to the Conservation District’s Cost Share Program and received approval for partial funding for his project.
These projects are volunteer intensive, requiring some strong backs to implement them. The pay-off is that the cost-per-foot is much lower than rip-rap. The Conservation District in Lewis and Clark County is fortunate to have an expert as our Chair, Jeff Ryan. Jeff has participated on many of these projects over the years and has been instrumental in keeping them in the mix of alternatives when people want to save their banks without the expense of rip-rap.
The landowner harvested several thousand willows in the past few months. This process is simple: you take some loppers, find a willow source where you have permission to cut them, cut them while they are dormant, bundle them, and store them someplace cold (in a snowbank, a cooler, etc.).
So last week, the landowner, Tim Olds, had the excavator ready and all of the other materials he needed and with some assistance from the Conservation District staff, Andrew Kretschmer and Connor Mertz, as well as Jeff Ryan, and Jeff’s grandson Drake, they got the job done.