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The Big Blackfoot River Revisited

 Big Blackfoot River, Peaceful Dawn

Big Blackfoot River, Peaceful Dawn

Came across these photos of the Big Blackfoot River that I took in 2016, while I was collecting photos from my Cross Country trip that year.  What a beautiful and peaceful river.  It was so amazing seeing it at dusk and feeling its serenity in patches without rocks, and its power in the riffles.

 The Big Blackfoot at Dawn

The Big Blackfoot at Dawn

The Big Blackfoot was the subject of Norman Maclean's book "The River Runs Through It."  In 1992, a movie starring Brad Pitt was made from the book.  However, the movie was actually filmed on the Upper Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Boulder Rivers, since the Big Blackfoot was so polluted then.    Thanks to the Big Blackfoot Riverkeeper and the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the river is much healthier these days.  The Trout Unlimited chapter restored 700 miles of shoreline over the past 30 years, and spearheaded 750 restoration projects costing $15 million.  The river is a story of success and shows that waterways can be remediated if there are sufficient resources available, but wouldn't it make more sense not to allow our waterways to becomes so polluted in the first place?

As I worked on these photos, the feelings of peace and balance and health I experienced while sitting on the rocks by the river came flooding back. Before our elected officials are allowed to make more decisions that put our waterways at risk, wouldn't it be wonderful if they were required to spend a few days communing with rivers like this.  Then maybe they would experience through their senses just how valuable such waterways are for all who visit them or are dependent on them for their water supply.