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NorthWestern Energy, Others Honored for Stream Restoration Work near Ennis

Nov 02, 2018

Butte, Mont. – Nov. 2, 2018 –  NorthWestern Energy, Granger Ranches, Longhorn Ranch and River Design Group have been honored for the restoration work on the O’Dell Spring Creek near Ennis, Montana.

The Society for Ecological Restoration’s Northwest Chapter named the O’Dell Creek work as its Restoration Project of the Year for 2018. The award recognized “the important wildlife habitat gains in permanently protecting and restoring a historical floodplain and restoring and reconnecting important wetland habitats.

Along with NorthWestern Energy and the other award recipients, a variety of state, federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations have participated in the O’Dell Spring Creek project. These partnerships and NorthWestern’s commitment to environmental stewardship have resulted in multiple long-term benefits to the environment.  

Since 2004, about 12.5 miles of spring creek and more than 700 acres of wetlands have been restored on O’Dell Creek, which is a tributary to the Madison River. The restoration work has improved wildlife habitat, particularly that of birds. Researchers found 29 species of birds in the creek area prior to restoration work. That number of species increased to 103 due to the efforts of the project partners. The Society noted specific improvements to trumpeter swan populations in the O’Dell Spring Creek project area.

Nearly $2.5 million has been spent on the restoration work to date. About $2.1 million in funding has come from NorthWestern’s Missouri-Madison Project 2188 Protection, Mitigation and Enhancement program. The program was established as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing process for hydroelectric facilities on the Missouri-Madison river system.

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NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 701,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.  More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at

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Butch Larcombe
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