Every spring recently, the Rombo Campground in the south end of the Bitterroot Valley literally becomes part of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. As the mountain snows melt, the water level rises and floods the camping area. At the same time, streamflows have been eroding the stream bank, taking away parts of the area and causing trees to fall as water undercuts the roots.

The Bitterroot National Forest is ready to stabilize and upgrade the popular area, starting this spring. The campground also needs infrastructure improvements to its drinking water system and the septic facilities, according to a news release from Tod McKay.

rombo erosion
Erosion at Rombo Campground. (Bitterroot National Forest-provided photo)

Damage began to really concern authorities in 2018 and it's only gotten worse since then. Part of work will include a new pump house and a campground host site with a septic. Part of the access road needs to be moved from an area that cannot be easily stabilized. That work is first on the list this spring.

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Depending on the progress of the spring work, major stabilization efforts will be next this fall or next spring. As you might expect, parts of the campground may be closed this year while work is done. If you want to make a comment, contact the Bitterroot National Forest. Public comments can be made on the project until February 23.You can see photos and a map at their website. West Fork Recreation Manager is Tanya Neidhardt at 406 821-1215. Rombo Campground is on the road to Painted Rocks Reservoir and is part of the great camping and fishing locations in that area.

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