Protecting Yellowstone's Water: A Story Map about the Restoration of Soda Butte Creek

Five miles outside the northeast boundary of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, a ghost from the past plagued the park for decades. Tons of leftover mine waste piles, also known as tailings, were perched on the banks of Soda Butte Creek, a tributary of the Lamar River. Rainwater and storms washed toxic levels of heavy metals from the tailings pile into the creek and downstream into the park. A diverse collaboration of people finally laid that ghost to rest in 2014, after years of work to restore Soda Butte Creek and its native biodiversity, including the iconic Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

Take a visual journey through this remarkable story and its many characters, from individual people, to delicate mayflies, to the water quality science underlying it all.

Click the "View full screen" option below the story map to begin scrolling through.

Yellowstone National Park

Last updated: December 15, 2022