Come along on GGWC’s Fall Tour: A Living History of Ag Irrigation in the Gallatin Valley

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Saturday, October 4 — 8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Meet at Zoot Enterprises in Four Corners

RSVP to info@greatergallatin.org or 551-0804 by Oct 1

Join the Greater Gallatin Watershed Council for this year’s Fall Tour, “A Living History of Ag Irrigation.” The tour will explore the ecological, economic and historic significance of irrigation ditches and canals in the Gallatin Valley. It will be held on Saturday, October 4 from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. Meet at Zoot Enterprises in Four Corners (555 Zoot Enterprises Ln) to board the tour bus. Space is limited, so RSVP to info@greatergallatin.org or 551-0804 by October 1. The tour is free but donations are what make the event possible.

Fall Tour Flyer

 

The Gallatin Valley is known as a “green oasis” because of the extensive irrigation system. There are an estimated 2,000 miles of ditches in the Gallatin Valley which have greatly influenced local agriculture and ecosystems. The six major canals—Highline, Lowline, Farmer’s, West Gallatin, Moreland and Middle Creek—together divert over 800 cfs from the West Gallatin River and irrigate nearly 50,000 acres.

The focus of the tour will be Lowline Canal, one of the longest ditches of the West Gallatin River built by Dutch immigrants in the 1890s. The Tour will visit the headgate of the canal and its service area between Four Corners and Manhattan. Tour speakers will include agricultural producers who rely on ditches for irrigation and a former West Gallatin water commissioner.

The tour will also feature the historic Gabriel Ditch flood irrigation system and stone canal, one of the oldest in the valley. The Lowline Canal and Gabriel Ditch are both located on a pioneer homestead ranch permanently protected under a conservation easement held by The Montana Land Reliance and featuring an old Indian trail, a buffalo jump and historic log and stone structures.

Participants will learn about water rights, irrigation practices and the history of these canals. This is a unique opportunity to explore how the irrigation system influences the Gallatin Valley landscape and learn how it operates from the people who rely on it for a living.

The Fall Tour is sponsored by The Montana Land Reliance—Montana’s statewide land trust—, Montana Import Group and Manhattan Bank.

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