Document Type


Publication Date



plant ecology, Silver Bow Creek, Butte, MT, remediation, revegetation


Silver Bow Creek runs approximately 25 miles from Butte to Warm Springs, where it joins Warm Springs Creek to form the Clark Fork River. This historic creek was terribly contaminated with mine wastes around the turn of the 20th century, leaving many "slickens" that persisted into the 21st century, when it became a Superfund remediation project. More than 5.5 million cubic yards of stream-deposited mine waste have been removed and 1,650 acres revegetated. Chief contaminants are copper, zinc, and arsenic, but acidic soils are often equally or more limiting to plants. The stream was relocated, and mine wastes were replaced with biologically inert cover soil.

Richard A. Prodgers is currently a plant ecologist with Bighorn Environmental Sciences in Dillon, Montana.

Streaming Media