Simms Joins Forces with Montana Freshwater Partners to Repair and Restore One of the State’s Most Vital and Iconic Watersheds
In early June of 2022, a combination of an unusual atmospheric rain event and warm overnight temperatures coincided with Montana’s peak runoff, resulting in a devastating 500-year flood event. Due to the catastrophic flood, all five entrances to Yellowstone National Park closed, thousands of park visitors were evacuated, bridges, houses, and roadways were completely swept away leaving millions of dollars in damages behind, and years of rejuvenation ahead.
To the residents of southwest Montana, the Yellowstone River is not only a vital economic resource, it’s an ecosystem that’s essential to their way of life.
Regarding the damage and destruction, Simms immediately leaned into to their longstanding heritage of making waders and embarked on a partnership project conceived to generate significant funding support towards a campaign designed to revitalize the iconic Yellowstone ecosystem.
“It’s hard to put into words what the Yellowstone River and ecosystem means to us here at Simms. On the surface, it’s a picturesque, iconic trout fishery but in reality, it’s so much more than that. It’s where we unwind, recreate, create unforgettable memories and forge lifelong family bonds and friendships. The surrounding communities and lifestyle that comes with it truly embody our Fish It Well philosophy,” says Diane Bristol, Simms VP of Community & Culture. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Montana Freshwater Partners and couldn’t be more excited to utilize a product that’s so synonymous with our brand to help restore this a national treasure that runs through our backyard.”
To announce the launch of the Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Wader, on Giving Tuesday, Simms made a $10,000 donation to the Yellowstone River Stewardship Campaign, called Give Back to the Yellowstone, a campaign developed to engage the community, out of state visitors, and business to give back to projects that support the overall health and vitality of the Yellowstone River.
Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Waders will be available in January of 2023 and through their sales, an additional $50,000 contribution will be made to the campaign and its continued efforts. The total contribution will go through a fund that’s been established through Montana Freshwater Partners, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Livingston, Montana.
“The Yellowstone Stewardship Campaign was developed as a way for those who love and appreciate the Yellowstone to help protect it in a meaningful way,” says Wendy Weaver, Montana Freshwater Partners Executive Director. “It’s a grass roots effort to engage the community in directly funding projects that protect its health and resiliency, especially in the face of increased recreational use pressure, drought, and the aftermath of the flood. Simms has become a generous partner in this endeavor and we are incredibly thankful for their support and genuine interest to help protect this iconic river.”
Funds earned through this campaign will be invested in conservation and restoration projects that will improve water quality, fish habitat, late season flows and floodplain connectivity. Allocation of Simms’ contribution will go towards priority based, on-the-ground projects implemented collaboratively with local nonprofit organizations such as Montana Fresh Water partners, Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group, Park County Environmental Council, Trout Unlimited and others working in partnership with the Department of natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Montana Fish Wildlife and parks, Custer Gallatin national Forest, and Bureau of Land Management.