Flathead water group struggles to stay afloat

Flathead water group struggles to stay afloat

News Type: State Source: Missoulian
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The 23-member Flathead Basin Commission is struggling to stay afloat and re-chart its course after its budget was severely cut and its executive director fired earlier this year.

About 15 board members and staff from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation met last week at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes council chambers to ponder both their past and the future.

The Flathead Basin Commission was created in 1983 by the Montana Legislature. It works with community stakeholders including state, federal and local government agencies; tribal and Canadian provincial groups; and other community organizations and citizens to lead the effort to protect and improve water quality and the natural resources in the Flathead basin.

As a non-regulatory organization, it operates by building consensus and stresses education and coordination using broad-based community partners. DNRC provides state oversight and staff.

The group has $14,966 left in this year’s budget to tide it over until the current fiscal year ends June 30, but members aren’t sure what outstanding bills still need to be paid. That pot of money also will pay for a part-time staffer and updates to the FBC website, which hasn’t posted meeting minutes since 2014 and has numerous broken links.