The Where and What of Henry's Fork

Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 6:20pm


Zack Boyd

The past two weeks have mainly been an adjustment to regular work hours after Rob’s hydrology and statistics orientation courses finished. Despite the obvious challenges of being 1100 miles away from Ashton as the crow flies (and much further as the trout swims), the transition has been surprisingly smooth.

    The hydrology course in particular was essential for me to understand how the river works. As a born and raised Easterner, the logistics of water policy and river flow in a region like the Snake River plain seem completely alien at first glance. Over just a handful of meetings, though, phrases like winter flow, water year, paper water, and even nine inches of rain per year felt almost familiar, largely thanks to Rob’s years of experience in the watershed. Though I can’t claim to be an expert, I can at least appreciate the effort that goes into providing water for all its many uses in the Henry’s Fork watershed.

    At the start of intern orientation, I only expected to learn the where and what of HFF, but soon found myself captivated by the how. To be clear: in my time as a farmhand back home in Pennsylvania, I rarely saw the level of dedication that HFF has for working with all stakeholders along Henry’s Fork. In Pennsylvania, farmers often found themselves at odds with any conservation work in our rivers, and few groups cared to collaborate outside of their little bubble for the betterment of our recourses. HFF, on the other hand, seems to be working closely with everyone who needs the river, regardless of their walk of life.

    Though it’s still early, I am excited to be settling in for a summer with HFF.