By Diane Tipton, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Statewide Information Officer
Water is essential to Montanans and now, with the Montana Lake Book, it is possible to learn about building a healthy relationship with local lakes.
Don't think you have a "local lake?" Think again! Even living on the plains of Montana you are associated with an important watershed that feeds a large body of water of some kind.
Chapter One of the Lake Book addresses the question, "What is a watershed?" The answer: "A watershed consists of all the land that contributes water to a larger body of water."
The total water cycle is much bigger than a lake though. In its natural setting, water is cleansed and filtered by plants and soil. Some water penetrates deep into the ground to become groundwater, eventually discharging into lakes, rivers and oceans. Evaporation starts the cycle all over again. Lakes contain, filter and evaporate water and recharge underground aquifers—a critical role in the water cycle.
Learning to live healthfully with lakes is really about learning to live healthfully with the continuous cycling of water that makes life possible.
It is a beautiful and simple science that average citizens can understand and take a conscious and meaningful part in.
Anyone who is interested in water or in natural cycles will appreciate the Montana Lake Book. The contents are as clear and simple to read as the book's title and cover every conceivable topic, for example, how to:
Learning to live with lakes is easy and interesting, thanks to the Montana Lake Book, available free on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website at fwp.mt.gov. Click the Doing Business tab, select Reference Information, then Reports. Or, request a copy by calling: 406-444-7815.