The Bureau of Land Management is a Federal Agency under the Department of the Interior. Their mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. They have several guiding principles including:
- To improve the health and productivity of the land to support the BLM multiple-use mission.
- To cultivate community-based conservation, citizen-centered stewardship, and partnership through consultation, cooperation, and communication.
- To respect, value, and support our employees, giving them resources and opportunities to succeed.
- To pursue excellence in business practices, improve accountability to our stakeholders, and deliver better service to our customers.
The BLM promotes multiple-use on public lands, consistent with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). This means supporting an all-of-the-above energy approach through environmentally responsible development; promoting conservation through shared stewardship; managing our borders effectively; promoting jobs on working landscapes; and serving the American family – which includes being good neighbors and recognizing traditional uses of public lands (i.e., hunting, fishing, and other recreational opportunities). To manage public lands, the BLM prepares land-use plans, also known as Resource Management Plans (RMPs). RMPs serve as blueprints for keeping public landscapes healthy and productive for multiple-use. As these RMPs are prepared, the BLM invites and values local voices and diverse views; respects the ties that native and traditional communities have to the land; and develops partnerships that bring successful resource stewardship. As a result, we have a strong history of ensuring opportunities for commercial, recreational, and conservation activities on public lands.
For more information on how the BLM partners see here.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is charged with protecting a clean and healthy environment as guaranteed to the citizens by the State Constitution. Their ultimate goal, per their mission, is to protect public health and to maintain Montana’s high quality of life for current and future generations.
More specifically for the Water Quality Division; their mission is to improve and protect water quality for all of Montana. To do this,The Water Quality Division develops integrated water quality plans to protect Montana’s environmental resources. The division encourages businesses, local governments and citizens to adopt new products, technologies, and practices that avoid environmental damage to the public’s resources. They provide financial and technical assistance to overcome market and institutional barriers hindering the implementation of cleaner business and public works practices and the installation of infrastructural equipment.
The organizational chart for the state headquarters can be found here.
According to DEQ’s mission, their stance on working with partners is as follows:
- WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC– We respect the public and recognize the value it places on the environment and its interest in the work of DEQ. Therefore, we encourage public input to our analyses, decision making, and all other aspects of DEQ’s work. We will provide the public with our analyses and the implications of DEQ’s decisions and any other information the citizens want within legal constraints. We will encourage and consider public input in our decision making processes and make open decisions that are clear, understandable, and accessible to the public.
- IMPROVING COOPERATION AND COORDINATION– The various bureaus and divisions of DEQ will cooperate and coordinate among themselves and with federal, state, and local agencies and other interested parties.
The Natural Resources and Conservation Service is a federal agency under the Department of Agriculture. To help sustain our natural resources and the environment, NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, improve, and sustain our natural resources including soil, water, air, plants, and animals.
In Montana, the NRCS conservationists spend most of their time on agricultural land – grazing land and cropland – the predominant use of private lands in Montana. They work in close cooperation with conservation districts through field offices that serve every county in the state. The agency emphasizes voluntary, science-based assistance, partnerships, and cooperative problem solving at the community level through the locally-led conservation process.
Rural and urban communities seek our help in curbing erosion, conserving and protecting water, and solving other resource problems. We help local Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) councils identify and solve human, economic, and environmental problems.
Local, state, and federal agencies, policymakers, and special-use districts also rely on NRCS expertise. American Indian tribes work with NRCS on a variety of initiatives that include resource inventories and the adaptation of our conservation programs to fit the special needs of their people and their land. We have a field office on each of the seven reservations in Montana.
The NRCS has special relationship with the Conservation Districts of Montana. All 60 conservation districts in Montana have working mutual agreements with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State of Montana. Conservation districts provide grassroots input to USDA through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Local conservation district boards of supervisors are composed of five elected officials. Conservation districts are organized statewide, often following county boundaries. They generally are collocated with NRCS in USDA Service Centers.
As for other partnering organizations, the conservation partnership continues to expand where the goals of individuals, agencies, and groups are in harmony with our mission of helping people conserve, improve, and sustain our natural resources and environment.
Below are tools and resources that will help you get involved in NRCS’s Montana Focused Conservation initiative, through your District’s Long-Range Planning process.
Learn more about Montana-Focused Conservation, including the Long Range-Planning (LRP) and Targeted Implementation Planning (TIP) processes, as well as how these relate to funding in your district, by watching this MWCC-NRCS Webinar.
Find additional information in the following document, which includes an LRP template: MT180_19_01 BULLETIN and LRP Outline FINAL Feb19
Attend Local Working Group meetings in your area to add your voice to the process. Here’s a list of upcoming LWG meetings.
Use this updated, downloadable NRCS Montana Personnel Directory to reach out to your local District Conservationist and other key people: Employee_Directory_NOV_2018
MWCC has designed this handbook as an ongoing resource for watershed coordinators. Check back frequently for added content!