MWCC 2019 Annual Meeting

watershed Day

Mark your calendar for the MWCC Annual held jointly with MWCC Watershed Day at the State Capital January 28-29th, 2019.


Monday, January 28th

9:00a Getting to Know the Legislature

             Join us for a short discussion on how to talk with your legislators.

Presentation Materials

10:00a Tabling in Capitol Rotunda

              State decision makers are invited to join you in the Capitol Rotunda to learn about local watershed activities.

12:00p Lunch Provided by MWCC

2:00p Legislative Engagement Time

               Open time for you to meet with legislators and observe legislative activities. MWCC staff will be available for assistance.

5:30p-8:00p Wetland & Watershed Awards & Reception, Montana Historical Society

               Awards presented by Lt. Governor Mike Cooney. Light appetizers and refreshments will be provided.


Tuesday, January 29th

8:45a Convene at Helena Colonial Hotel

9:00a MWCC Program Updates Watershed Fund, Watershed Stories, State of the Watershed Report, and Legislative Activities

9:30a Keynote Speaker

Meta Loftsgaarden is the Executive Director for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, coordinating an 18-member board and directing a $103 million biennial budget, including management and oversight of 35 staff and multiple grant programs supporting native fish and wildlife habitat and water quality. Throughout her career Meta has served in leadership positions that support her passion for local economies, communities, and science-based restoration and conservation.

She worked for NRCS on partnership and policy issues in both Oregon and Montana. While with NRCS, she worked in Washington, DC on the Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill. While in Montana, Meta ran the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Marketing and Business Development Bureau, helping agricultural businesses access markets for Montana’s value-added agricultural products. And, she promoted rural economic and natural resource policies as deputy communications director for Montana’s Governor Judy Martz and communications coordinator for the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

Meta has a Master’s in Public Administration from Portland State University and a Bachelor’s in Agriculture Extension from Montana State University.

10:15a Break

10:30a   Government Partners Panel

                State-level agency leadership will respond to participant questions on issues pertinent to local watershed coordination.

                    Confirmed Panelists:

                    George Mathieus, Deputy Director, Montana Department of Environmental Quality

                    John Tubbs, Director, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

                    Martha Williams, Director, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

                    Tom Watson, Montana State Director, Natural Resource and Conservation Service

                    Mark Neckodom, Agricultural Sciences Division Administrator, Montana Department of Agriculture

12:00p Lunch Provided by MWCC

1:00p Watershed Health Tools Workshop

            This workshop provided an overview of tools for assessing and planning for watershed health activities.

Presentation materials for all tools overviews.

Montana Natural Heritage Program Field Guide, Species Snapshot, and Map Viewer, Presenter Bryce Maxell

Our Field Guide, Species Snapshot, and Map Viewer websites provide information that summarizes the status of nearly 8,000 species and over 150 habitats in areas across the state to inform environmental reviews and planning and permitting processes. Products include: (1) accounts with information on the taxonomy, distribution, biology, ecology, and conservation status of species and communities; (2) lists and abbreviated field guides for species documented in particular areas; and summaries of species, surveys that have been completed for particular species groups, acreages of terrestrial and wetland habitats, and invasive and pest species documented in watersheds and other user selected areas.

Headwaters Economics Economic Profile System, Presenter Scott Story

Through our free, online tool, the Economic Profile System (EPS), Headwaters Economics brings together data from a variety of federal agencies to generate reports containing a wealth of socioeconomic and demographic data for different geographies (counties, census tracts, and more). During this presentation we will show you how to use our online tools and associated study guides to find the information relevant to your work. We will demonstrate how we have used EPS data to help communities measure progress on community economic development projects and, in general, how our tools can be used to make socioeconomic justifications and informed decisions.

MSU Extension Water Quality Data Hub, Presenter Adam Sigler

The MSU Extension Water Quality DataHub is an online database for the storage of surface water data collected by citizen scientists and/or data not publicly available elsewhere. In addition to storage of numeric data, photos can also be easily uploaded from a smartphone or computer. Username/passwords for uploading data can be created for coordinators or individual volunteers collecting data. There are basic plotting tools built into the DataHub, and data can also be downloaded. Site lists can also be exported with coordinates and hyperlinks to add to interactive online maps so stored data/photos can be viewed by clicking on points.

Surface Water Assessment and Monitoring Program, Presenter Luke Buckley

The Surface Water Assessment and Monitoring Program (SWAMP) is a joint program between the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). SWAMP is tasked with collecting and compiling stream-flow data, and conducting watershed assessments to aid decision-making and policy development in Montana. While data collection, compilation, and dissemination are critical in the short term, these data also support watershed studies aimed at developing predictive models of surface-water and groundwater resources. Watershed studies conducted under this program will provide opportunities for applied research and training for students of the Montana University System.

Ground Water Information Center, Presenter Dan Blythe

The Ground Water Information Center (GWIC) database is Montana’s repository for driller’s logs and groundwater information. In addition to well logs, GWIC contains many additional data sets: water chemistry (standard, isotopic, and organic), long-term static-water levels, aquifer tests, field-inventoried data, and scanned images. GWIC data are available online at, and through web services provided by the MBMG’s GIS section.

Sage Grouse “Green Indicators”, Presenter TBD

The Sage Grouse “Green Indicators” online tool depicts the estimated extent and availability of mesic resources annually (1984-present) across the entire range of sage grouse. Mesic resources are defined here as sites with higher vegetative productivity during the late growing season (July 15 to September 30) relative to surrounding areas, including temporary wetlands, wet meadows, riparian areas, high-elevation sagebrush uplands, and irrigated fields. This late growing season corresponds with brood-rearing season for sage grouse. Corresponding scientific article: Seasonal drought in North America’s sagebrush biome structures dynamic mesic resources for sage‐grouse – Donnelly et al. 2018, available here.

NRCS Rangeland Analysis Platform, Presenter Matt Jones

The Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) is a free online tool that empowers landowners, resource managers, and conservationists to track rangeland vegetation at an unprecedented blend of time (1984 to present), space (Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean), and scale (at the ranch, county, or watershed level). RAP uses innovative technology and a simple web interface ( to provide maps and analysis opportunities straight to your desktop. Designed to be used alongside local knowledge and on-the-ground data, this cutting-edge tool can track vegetation response to drought, inform watershed restoration planning, and evaluate management outcomes.

Montana DEQ CWAIC and NPS Projects Map, Presenter TBD

The Clean Water Act Information Center (CWAIC) provides  information about the quality of Montana’s rivers, streams, and lakes in relation to Montana’s Water Quality assessments. These assessments are derived from available statewide water monitoring data and information. CWAIC also provides access to Montana’s Water Quality Reports and List of Impaired Surface Waters, as well as online search and mapping tools ( The Nonpoint Source Management Program supports projects to improve water quality and recently published an interactive online map of 319 funded projects. (

3:30p Depart


Looking for a place to stay while your in Helena? Check out our lodging page for room block information at several hotels here.