by Travis Mateer
Today I’m transitioning from ASSESSING different houseless sites across the valley to ADDRESSING them, and what better day than during the Clark Fork Coalition’s Earth Day clean up!
The spot I’m going to address today is NOT family-friendly, so I’ve recruited a fellow TIF critic to help me remove this monstrosity from the rocky edge of the riverbank. It’s going to be brutal, but someone has to do it!
Since WGM Group has their office just a little downstream from this site, I was hoping to get their volunteer assistance today, but already they did a small cleanup on Thursday. Darn!
Maybe instead of manpower they can help me cover the cost of the dumpster I had to rent to make this happen today because I’m not in the financial position to absorb $900 bucks.
Before wrapping this post up, I’d like to mention how absolutely frustrating it is to have the ENDANGERMENT of the Clark Fork River in recent headlines, but to have all the attention say NOTHING about “houseless” encampments and the environmental threat they pose. Here’s the reason why American Rivers selected the Clark Fork for their top 10 list (emphasis mine):
American Rivers chose the Clark Fork River because of industrial pollution that lingers since the Smurfit Stone pulp mill was closed in 2010. The toxins from the pulp process and electricity production – dioxins, furans and PCB’s – may be seeping into the river, affecting fish and wildlife.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has placed a fish consumption advisory for sections of the river around and downstream of the pulp mill site, which affects local anglers and subsistence fishermen of the Salish and Kalispel people, many of whom live on the Flathead Reservation.
“The Clark Fork River is in the heart of our ancestral homelands, but it’s like being punched in the gut when you have something like Smurfit in that location. We want to restore the floodplain, reclaim lost pieces of our culture, and honor our treaty and our ancestors,” said Tom McDonald, Council Chairman for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in a release.
If you would like to help me get shit done on Earth Day, this location is just behind Missoula College on 1205 East Broadway. Another great way to help is by giving me MONEY, so check out Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or you can use the donation button at my about page.
Thank you for the support, and stay tuned, because this crazy train just keeps rolling!