The University of Montana will host the 2015 Clark Fork Symposium next Thursday, April 23 through Friday, April 24.

"The Clark Fork Symposium is an event that we put on about every five years since 1985 where we bring interested citizens and scientists together to discuss what we've learned about conserving and restoring the basin in the past five years and what our upcoming challenges are," Environmental Studies Professor Vicki Watson said. "It includes both some public, friendly presentations, but also some more wonky technical presentations."

Watson said the symposium will begin with the Water Supply Outlook Forum, featuring reports from the National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, operators of reservoirs in the state and others.

"We've been seeing more things trending positively than trending negatively," Watson said. "Partly, that's because of the tremendous amount of work people have been putting in to restoring the upper river in particular. The state Natural Resource Damage Program has been doing a lot of restoration work up there. We're wrapping up the final superfund project in the upper river too. Basically they are just coming to report on what they're doing, what improvements they're seeing, and what they hope to do next."

The symposium will be at the Holiday Inn Downtown in Missoula.

Here's a list of symposium events:

·         7-9 p.m. Thursday, April 23, North Underground Lecture Hall (University of Montana): “State of the River Report” keynote event featuring speakers from UM, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Posters of river studies also will be on display. Free and open to the public.
·         8:30 a.m. Friday, April 24, Davidson Honors College: Registration
·         9 a.m.-noon Friday, April 24, Davidson Honors College: Twenty short talks in three concurrent sessions will summarize recent studies and actions in the basin.
·         Noon-2 p.m. Friday, April 24, University Center Atrium: More than 20 posters and displays will be available for the public to view.
·         3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, Missoula Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1100 Clark Fork Lane: The symposium will conclude with a tour of Missoula’s state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and nearby tree plantation that is irrigated with the plant’s effluent. The tour will highlight the plant’s progress toward becoming a Zero Waste facility.
More registration information and a complete 2015 symposium schedule can be found here.