Last August I spent my 40th birthday on top of Montana’s highest summit in the Beartooths Mountains. From the top of Granite Peak, I had many reasons to celebrate standing at the source of the Stillwater River, West Rosebud and East Rosebud Creeks.

As a New Hampshire-born “Granite State” gal who’s lived in Montana since 1992, I felt connected to my origins by way of rock and geology. But since proudly making my home in Montana I’ve come to realize that it’s not the mountains that hold so much allure as it is the rivers.

From the Gallatin to the Yellowstone, most of my summer leisure time has been spent paddling rivers. Whitewater, flatwater, riffles and eddies are all trademarks of Montana’s clean and cold free-flowing streams. As a business owner I could choose a lot of places to work but its Montana’s healthy rivers that capture my heart and tie me to my community in Livingston.

That’s why this August I have another reason to celebrate. The rugged East Rosebud Creek has been given another chance to receive protection provided by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, preventing the stream from dams and maintaining its remarkable values. Already, that creek has seen a history of hydroelectric dam proposals on public lands that would have diverted all water out of the creek leaving the river bed completely dry.

I want to give our Montana delegation -- Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke -– a special thanks for working together to introduce Wild and Scenic River Bills for East Rosebud. Let this be the beginning for protecting other rivers across the Treasure State!

-- Darcy Cook, MSPT Granite Sports Medicine Livingston

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