KETCHUM — Gravel-bed rivers like the Big Wood, ecological centers of mountain landscapes, can be found all over the Rocky Mountains. While we generally understand that these freestone rivers play important roles, we don’t always understand the impacts and inter-connectedness of these rivers or the effects humans have upon them.

The Wood River Land Trust and their partners will bring Dr. Ric Hauer, director of the University of Montana’s Center for Integrated Research on the Environment, to the valley to present his ground-breaking findings during a free talk — “Gravel-bed Rivers in the Northern Rockies: Why Mountain Rivers Are So Important and Why You Should Care” — from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Library, 415 Spruce Ave., Ketchum.

Hauer will discuss natural stream functions, terrestrial/aquatic productivity and how some river restoration practices have compromised our systems today. He will give examples of restoration practices that work and will provide the rationale for these findings. He will also answer questions after his presentation.

Hauer has conducted research around the eastern Pacific-rim, from Alaska to Patagonia, with his primary research being the trans-boundary Crown-of-the-Continent Ecosystem and the Flathead River system of Montana and British Columbia. In addition to his academic research, Hauer has served in development, implementation and assessment of environmental policy for the Clean Water Act — working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

More information: call Mike McKenna at 208-788-3947 or email mmckenna@woodriverladntrust.org.

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