~ CROSSROADs ~  A commissioned report for the National Science Foundation
 re: ~Down @ the Crick~ or Field Science by Wireless
 written by Terry Casey ( aka etlady@postmark.net )
 Tuesday, May 5, 1998             
  page    1 *  2  *  3      4  *   5  *   6  *  addendum *
  Tuesday, May 5, 1998 

    Photo: StarGaZers

We work hard together to protect and preserve our waterways while correcting past historical water management mistakes. We recognize that each of us, regardless of occupation or perception, has a role in the decision-making process about how Big Spring Creek is treated. The quality of our water reflects the quality of our life. In Central Montana, we carry on a community tradition of watching over the creek flowing through our daily life, connecting neighborhoods...a valuable water resource that is not seasonally dependent. World class springs maintain a constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit year round with very little fluctuation in discharge level and are rare jewels...We know this; our children are learning this; and their children will see this as well. After all, it is our daily activities and land uses that determine what goes into the water!

Historically, Lewistown residents have always been "Crick Watchers,"and from time to time have made decisions that seemed real good at the time and later turned out to be bad moves...For instance, in the early 1900s, when railroad tracks were criss~crossing the land...a roundhouse was needed down near Brewery Flats, so Spring Creek was simply moved out of the way and a fishing access point (Brewery Flats) was later created. Of course, the roundhouse is abandoned and the old tracks are gone now, but the State Highway Department is looking down the road at a possible need to widen the highway that runs along side Spring Creek...so...moving the Creek may become a concern in another decade. The difference, this time, is that the Big Spring Creek Watershed Partnership represents a united effort to fulfill the economic and resource opportunities within the Watershed.

 "We have probed the earth, excavated it, buried it, ripped things  from it, buried
things in it...that does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here
on a month~to~month basis,we would have been evicted long ago."
 - Rose Elizabeth Bird

Some of the shared values include the following:
* Maintain and encourage a strong agricultural base rather than the loss of key agricultural lands to subdivision or small housing tracts.
Pass on to the next generation an understanding of and the appreciation for the natural resources and systems (so mistakes are not repeated).
* Protect and maintain water quality and quantity of  the area for municipality, agriculture, fisheries, wildlife and recreation.
* Protect and enhance Big Spring Creek and tributary streams.
* Promote responsible recreational use and development, developing public access when feasible while improving area  parks.    
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