Montana Headwaters Security Act: The Last Remaining Wild Rivers

Montana’s rivers are a lifeblood for the state. They provide drinking water, irrigation water, and world-class recreational opportunities. We cannot wait for Montana’s rivers to degrade before we’re called to action.

The Montana Headwaters Security Act is draft legislation for new Wild and Scenic River designations on some of the best rivers and creeks on public lands in Montana. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is the highest form of river protection in the United States. Montana only has five river segments designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers: the three forks of the Flathead River, Upper Missouri River Breaks, and East Rosebud Creek.

Today is your day to secure the future of Montana’s rivers.

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how can i help right now?

You can call or write the Montana delegation and ask them to introduce the Montana Headwaters Security Act! We need to show public support to Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines, and Representative Greg Gianforte and each call only takes a few minutes.

What do i say in my call or letter?

Introduce yourself! Tell them your name and where you’re from. It’s essential to state why rivers in Montana are important to you. Finally, ask them to introduce the Montana Headwaters Security Act. Be sure to tell them that we cannot afford to wait for threats to our rivers before we protect them - NOW is the perfect time to protect our best and most beloved streams.

contact info for montana’s delegation

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

Senator jon tester

(202) 224-2644

311 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington DC, 20510-2604

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

senator steve daines

(202) 224-2651

320 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington DC, 20510

Photo: Louise Johns Photography

rep. greg gianforte

(202) 225-3211

1222 Longworth HOB

Washington DC, 20515

If calling isn’t for you and you have an address in Montana, you can also take action via our button below.


A few of the rivers included in the montana headwaters security act

Photo: Cindy Goeddel Photography

Gallatin river - 39 miles

The Gallatin winds through a narrow valley before meeting with the Madison and Jefferson rivers to form the Missouri River. A local hot spot for fly-fishing, the Gallatin is home to several species of trout including Brook, Rainbow, and Yellowstone Cutthroat.

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Rock Creek (+ west fork & lake fork) - 31 miles

Rock Creek, including the West and Lake Forks, is located in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness near Red Lodge. These creeks offer beautiful mountain scenery and flow into the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone.

Photo: Donna Watson Lawson

Photo: Donna Watson Lawson

Yellowstone river - 17 miles

The Yellowstone is the last free-flowing, un-damed river in the lower 48. Starting at Yellowstone Lake, the river flows through southeastern Montana before meeting with the Missouri River. On the Yellowstone you can find rafters, anglers, and boaters.

Photo: Len Trout

Photo: Len Trout

madison river - 40 miles

The Madison is truly one of the iconic rivers of southwestern Montana. The legendary trout waters attract visitors from all over the world. It’s also a favorite spot for rafting and floating. The Madison eventually flows into the Missouri River near Three Forks.

Photo: Donna Watson Lawson

Photo: Donna Watson Lawson

boulder river - 27 miles

A tributary of the Yellowstone River, the Boulder River flows through mountainous canyons, a cataract under a natural bridge, and a widening valley. Beginning high in the Absaroka Mountains, this gorgeous river is a true Montana treasure.

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smith river (+ tenderfoot creek) - 17 miles

A favorite for multi-day floats, the Smith River is a highly coveted floating permit for Montanans. Offering gorgeous views and plentiful trout, this Missouri River tributary needs permanent protection for generation to come.


questions? Interested in writing an opinion piece for your local newspaper? reach out to senior waters conservation associate charles drimal at cdrimal@greateryellowstone.org.


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