State and local officials on the banks of the Clark Fork Wednesday, for the opening of a stretch of the river that's been closed for over a century.
The 100-year-old Milltown Dam east of Missoula was removed in 2008 as part of a Superfund site cleanup.
Since then, state and local agencies have worked on extensive restoration along the Clark Fork and Blackfoot.
Now, boaters can float the nine-mile river stretch between the Turah Fishing Access Site -- upstream of the former dam site -- down to Sha-Ron fishing access.
"We need to make sure no stream or river, lake in Montana, ever again is not able to be floated or that we can't use it for recreation or access because of the mistakes we've made in the past," said Lt. Gov. John Walsh.
The riverbanks will remain closed for another year while recently planted vegetation gets a chance to establish strong roots.
The restored river channels and the surrounding areas are part of the 535-acre Milltown State Park, which will be phased in over time.