The Chronicle's recent article eloquently described the need for more water to support Bozeman’s population growth, but misses the collateral impact of meeting that water demand.
Lyman Creek, a spring-fed tributary of Bridger Creek, exemplifies one such impact. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks describes Lyman Creek as "a spawning tributary and nursery stream for both rainbow and brown trout residing in Bridger Creek or the East Gallatin" and "an important component of the larger Bridger Creek ecosystem." American Rivers noted in a recent letter that Lyman Creek "provides important habitat for . . . deer, elk, moose, black bear, coyotes, blue heron and Sandhill cranes."
Bozeman last increased its annual diversions from Lyman Creek in 2008. Trout Unlimited recently found that late summer flows in Lyman Creek fall well below healthy thresholds. But Bozeman yet again plans to increase its diversion from Lyman Creek, which will be even more detrimental to trout spawning habitats, downstream water rights and the Bozeman way of life.