Before and after of Soda Butte Creek near Cooke City; photo courtesy NPS.

Once upon a time way up near Cooke City an unstable, abandoned tailings pond discharged for decades into Soda Butte Creek.  It’s a phenomenal fishery downstream in Yellowstone National Park, but up here the mining pollution held back bug and fish life.  Working cooperatively, state and federal officials managed an extensive project to remove contaminated sediment and restore Soda Butte.  The photos are pretty impressive.