Blackfeet Environmental Office - Protecting the Blackfeet Nation's Natural Resources

Blackfeet Non-Point Source
Willow Creek Watershed Assessment


The Blackfeet Nation is located in Northwestern Montana and covers an area of 1,525,712 acres. The reservation covers most of Glacier County and extends southward into Pondera County. The reservation lies on the east slope of the Lewis Range of the Rocky Mountains. It is bordered by Canada to the north, the Lewis and Clark national forest to the south, and Glacier National Park to the west.

The Willow Creek drainage flows west to east from its headwaters in the foothills east of Glacier National Park, between the Cut Bank and Milk River Drainages. The watershed is entirely within the Marias River Basin and the Northwestern Glaciated Plains EcoRegion (DEQ 2006).

The watershed drains an area of 92,600 acres (Blackfeet Environmental Office (BEO) 2007) and its three main water bodies are Willow Creek, Depot Creek and Flatiron Creek. These streams originate in the foothills east of Glacier National Park and are first, second and third order streams. Primary land uses in the watershed vary from recreational and low density cattle grazing in the upstream reaches and headwaters to residential, commercial, and wastewater treatment closer to Browning. Downstream of Browning, land use is dominated by ranching and agriculture.

The Blackfeet Environmental Office determined that three streams in the watershed were impaired, namely Depot Creek, Flatiron Creek and Willow Creek. Water quality concerns are related primarily to nutrients, coliform and sediment as influenced by agriculture, urban runoff and wastewater treatment in the watershed (BEO 2006). This project was implemented as part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Blackfeet Environmental Office efforts to define and quantify the impairment of these streams within the Blackfeet Reservation. Both agencies are currently working together to develop a water quality restoration plan for the Reservation.

Willow Creek Watershed Assessment September 2010
PDF - 2 MB

Appendix B Criteria for Remote Assessment
PDF - 16 KB

Appendix C Nutrient Standards Criteria
PDF - 12 KB

Appendix A Maps
(After selecting an image to enlarge, the rest can be cycled
through by clicking on the right and left edges of each
enlarged image or by using the right and left arrow keys.)

Willow Creek and Surrounding Watersheds


Willow Creek Watershed Listed Segments


Willow Creek Watershed Temperature and Monitoring Sites


Willow Creek Watershed Land Use


Willow Creek Watershed Land Use


Willow Creek Watershed Stream Condition Ratings


Willow Creek Watershed Culverts At Risk of Failure


Willow Creek Watershed TSS Results


Willow Creek Watershed TN Results


Willow Creek Watershed Nitrates-Nitrites Results


Willow Creek Watershed Ammonia Results


Willow Creek Watershed Total Phosphorous Results


Willow Creek Watershed Temperature Influences


Willow Creek Watershed Restoration Priorities West


Willow Creek Watershed Restoration Priorities East


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