The Arnold Bolle Award

Chris Brick - 2013

Chris Brick

Christine Brick has demonstrated dedication, scientific knowledge, and an unswerving desire to advocate for the environment. Her background in hydrology, groundwater, and water chemistry has been of invaluable service to western Montana’s watersheds and the communities they support.

Chris earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Montana. She taught environmental science and geoscience as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana and worked as a consultant in those fields before joining the Clark Fork Coalition as Science Director. During her 16 years with the CFC, she was deeply involved in the Milltown Dam Superfund project from the time of the cleanup decision through dam removal and river restoration. She feels incredibly fortunate to have worked with so many wonderful people on this, including neighborhood groups, conservation groups, local, state, and federal agencies, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the University of Montana, and the cleanup and restoration contractors. Collaboration ultimately made the project successful.
Chris was also an essential advocate for the adoption of the Upper Clark Fork Restoration Plan. When the 30-year legal battle for the restoration of the Clark Fork watershed ended in a $140 million settlement, it wasn’t yet determined how the funds would be spent, and Chris recognized the importance of a basin-wide cohesive plan such that the money would be spent effectively. The plan adopted by Governor Brian Schweitzer in January 2013 included returning water to dewatered tributaries, restoring riparian habitat, securing wildlife habitat, and replacing drinking water sources polluted by the mines and smelters in Butte and Anaconda. In the words of her colleague Peter Nielsen: “It would not have turned out the way it did without Chris Brick…This is [her] lasting legacy and gift to future generations.”
In recognition of her advocacy for restoration of the Clark Fork watershed, she was awarded the Missoula Conservation Roundtable’s 2013 Arnold Bolle Conservation Professional Award.
Over the years, Chris has served on several non-profit Boards including MEIC, Clark Fork Coalition, Watershed Education Network, Wild Rockies Field Institute, and Climate Smart Missoula. She has also served on the Missoula Water Quality Advisory Council, the Tri-State Water Quality Council, EPA’s Milltown Design Review Advisory Committee, and the state’s Milltown Restoration Peer Review Group. She was the technical advisor for the Clark Fork River Technical Advisory Committee, helping to produce the Dam News, an illustrated publication apprising citizen of upcoming plans for dam removal. Now retired, she continues her watershed advocacy by serving on the CFC’s Technical Advisory Committee.
Biography by Kalle Fox


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