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Valley Voices with Brian Richter

The Big Wood River, once known as "Big Woody," has a long history that only those who have understood its waters intimately for multiple decades can tell. As time marches on and human intervention reshapes its course, a locally dubbed historian and advocate, Brian Richter, sheds light on the river's past and the promising future it could regain through mindful action.

The name Big Woody was derived from the imposing log jams that dotted the river's path, creating a natural haven for aquatic life. These impressive formations forged safe havens, nurturing habitats for various species. The river thrived with the logs serving as the threads that bound together the intricate ecosystem. Brian understands the transformation that has unfolded over time.

"The river was naturally filled with giant log jams that created safe and healthy habitat for aquatic species. As we continue to rip rap and channelize the river, we're losing all of that—at a pretty dramatic rate."

Brian reminds us of the power of historical awareness and the transformative potential of community action. The past holds a roadmap, guiding us toward a future where the river thrives again.

About Valley Voices:

As we embark on restoring and protecting The Big Wood River, we invite you to join us in celebrating the voices that make up our community, amplifying the importance of the Big Wood River, and cultivating a shared commitment to its preservation. Together, we have the power to ensure that future generations will continue to find inspiration, joy, and a connection to nature along its banks.

Have a story of your own to share with us? Shoot us a message at

Read our mission statement here: Discover Project Big Wood



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