Thomas J. Elpel's
Web World Portal

Elpel's logo.
Thomas J. Elpel
Home Page
Banner, Thomas J. Elpel, Bowdrill.
Thomas J. Elpel - PO Box 697 - Pony, MT 59747   E-Mail   Search this Site   Join the Team!
Facebook button. About Tom: Résumé | Books | Videos | Programs & Classes | Articles | News | Blog
      Back to Nature: Experiential Education | Wilderness Survival | Botany | Conservation
            Sustainable Living: Green Building | Green Economics | Green Energy
Jefferson River canoeist.

Building a National Park

      "Let's make a national park, Dad." my son Edwin used to tell me. He participated in junior ranger programs at many national parks. Creating our own park was apparently the next step in the process. Now, as president of the Jefferson River Canoe Trail, that is essentially the focus of my work.

      In two dimensions at least, the Jefferson River is already a national park. Named by Lewis and Clark for our third President, the Jefferson River is an essential segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (L&CNHT), administered by the National Park Service. However, as a trail, it is a park with length, but not width. The Jefferson River is part of the national historic trail, yet there is no formal protection for the river. Much of the Jefferson is threatened by development, and camping opportunities are limited.

Shonshone Landing: a Jefferson River Campsite.       Most of the Jefferson flows through private lands. The area is sliced and diced by fences, roads, and development. Yet, from the perspective of a floater on the river, the Jefferson retains much of its original character from the days of Lewis and Clark. The rich riparian corridor supports everything from deer and moose to beavers, otters, blue herons, bald eagles, and sometimes bears. Viewed from a boat, paddlers see the trees and wildlife in the foreground and the mountains in the background, oblivious to most development along the way.

      Our organization, a chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, is working to educate landowners about conservation easements and sensible development choices to preserve the historic character of the river for the enjoyment of all. We are also seeking land for public floater's camps along the river. In 2014 we purchased a 4.37-acre campsite on the lower Jefferson, near the town of Three Forks, Montana. We are currently fundraising to finalize the purchase of a new 30-acre campsite near Waterloo. The goal is not actually to create a national park, but to appreciate and steward our backyard as if it were a national park.

      We've only seen the beginning of the population surge in this area. Now is our last best chance to conserve the Jefferson River for future generations. Do nothing, and the river will be degraded by inappropriate housing developments, riprap along the banks, and "no trespassing" signs from one end to the other. To make a difference, please go to our website and join the group or make a donation to the cause.

sign off.
Thomas J. Elpel

Donate to Waterloo Grove via PayPal, Credit Card or Check:
Donate via PayPal | Donate via
All donations are tax-deductible.
The Jefferson River Canoe Trail is a Chapter of
the 501(c) Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
Donate online or send checks to: JRCT - PO Box 697 - Pony, MT 59747

JCRT Banner.

authored by
Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

Portal Icon.
Return to Thomas J. Elpel's
Web World Portal | Web World Tunnel

Thomas J. Elpel's Web World Pages
About Tom | Green University®, LLC
HOPS Press, LLC | Dirt Cheap Builder Books
Primitive Living Skills | Outdoor Wilderness Living School, LLC
Wildflowers & Weeds | Jefferson River Canoe Trail
Roadmap To Reality | What's New?

© 1997 - 2017 Thomas J. Elpel