MWCC 2018 Progress
With the help of our partners, MWCC has been able to:
- Distribute $100,000 in capacity, project, and professional development sub grants to watershed organizations through our Watershed Fund.
- Develop 6 Watershed Stories to share the success of the Watershed Approach in the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Broadwater, Madison, Musselshell, and Whitefish Lake watersheds.
- Discuss the shared values of the Watershed Approach to natural resource management and the economic significance of healthy watersheds with 120 watershed professionals at the MWCC Annual Meeting in Helena, Montana.
- Provide training to 200 Watershed Approach enthusiasts who attended the 2018 Watershed Symposium: Advancing Conservation through Effective Communication, in Whitefish, Montana.
- Build capacity and assist with strategic planning for 4 Partner watershed organizations: the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group, Clark Fork & Kootenai River Basins Council, Sun River Watershed Group, and Upper Missouri Watershed Alliance through our Partnership Service initiatives.
- Reach over 1,150 people with 24 Watershed Newsletters, providing up-to-date information on trainings, careers, funding opportunities for local watershed communities, and more.
- Involve 20 Watershed, 8 For Profit, and 9 Non Profit Partners, all of whom invested in MWCC’s strategic plan to support all watershed communities successfully advancing natural resource stewardship across Montana.
- Recruit 2 enthusiastic new staff and 2 knowledgeable new board members to help carry out our strategic vision
Previous Years Reports
With the help of our partners, MWCC has been able to:
- Continue to grow our pass-through funding program for capacity and project funding, more than doubling the amount of funding available in 2018.
- Developed and distributed over 300 State of the Watersheds reports highlighting the work of local conservation organizations statewide.
- Brought watershed coordinators and legislators together for Watershed Day & Awards at the Montana State Capitol.
- Grew the Watershed News to over 1,000 readers statewide.
- Redesigned our website to host updated Watershed News information more regularly.
- Hosted over 100 attendees at the MWCC Annual Meeting.
- Launch our Partnership Program to formalize our network and better serve local conservation groups.
- Partnered in placing 27 Big Sky Watersheds Corps members.
- Provided training on comprehensive watershed restoration planning.
- Facilitated over 70 visitors to the Musselshell Watershed for the 2017 Watershed Projects Tour.
- Assisted in the creation of the Clark Fork and Kootenai River Basins Council.
- Developed a four year strategic plan for MWCC, wherein MWCC will continue to:
SUPPORT. MWCC provides funding, technical assistance, and capacity to local watershed groups.
CONNECT. Through events and online newsletters, MWCC coordinates a family of committed natural resource managers.
INSPIRE. MWCC shares local conservation success stories and promotes the watershed approach.
We are grateful for a momentous year at MWCC and look forward to continuing to serve you in 2018!
The MWCC Team
Over $120,000 in sub grants to watershed groups.
Specific grants were made possible in partnership with other organizations for specific activities:
- Environmental Education programs
- Capacity building for watershed groups in eastern Montana
- Addressing non point source pollution
- Drought management
- Missouri Headwaters Partnership
Events that informed and brought people together.
MWCC 2016 Annual Meeting packed the Fish Wildlife & Parks Wild Center. Agency personnel and watershed coordinators were brought together to explore opportunities to advance natural resource work and MWCC provided an updated Natural Resource Grant tracking sheet.
MWCC Spring Webinar Series was a cost and time-saving way to share information with watershed groups. Training focused on prominent grant management issues as well as technical tools available for watershed restoration planning.
Watershed Activities Work Group (WAWG) Projects Tour explored restoration projects at Browns Gulch, the Ueland Ranch, and Silver Bow Creek outside of Butte. The tour concluded with a visit to the Mt Haggin Wildlife Management Area.
2016 Watershed Symposium in Billings, Montana brought over 150 people together including a record number of attendees from eastern Montana and conservation districts to discuss how partnerships can improve conservation efforts.
Placed 20 Big Sky Watershed Corps members statewide.
Thanks to MWCC and its partners, Members will contribute 25,000 hours of service, $65,000 in to host sites to assist in covering host site fees, professional development, and other service member related costs.
Coordination of regional partnerships.
MWCC was able to provide capacity funding as well as coordination services to the Missouri Headwaters Partnership, a collective group of the nine sub-basin watershed groups in the upper Missouri Basin. MWCC also continued to assist in the re visioning of the Clark Fork Basin Task Force as a basin-wide coordinating entity. These regional efforts provide a blue print for meeting common conservation objectives within the basins and a model for increased regional coordination across the state in the coming years.
Ten Mile Creek Watershed Mural.
MWCC brought together local natural resource organizations and businesses to commission a mural that reminds the people of Helena of the city’s unique placement within the Ten Mile watershed ecosystem. The mural is on permanent display at Ten Mile Creek Brewing Company.
Watershed News audience increased.
The Watershed News reaches an audience of over 800 natural resource professionals statewide. With an open rate that nearly doubles the industry average and a 20% click through rate, the Watershed News is a premier method for sharing information regarding Montana natural resource related activities.
Training & Education
MWCC Watershed Symposium, October 24-26th, 2016, Billings, MT.The MWCC Symposium is a three-day training conference for watershed communities across the state. This year’s conference is in Billings Montana. This year’s program is being designed to bring east and west together to discuss new ideas for watershed conservation under the theme, “Partnerships for Conservation Efficiency: Exploring the Community Approach to Effective Water Management, Education, and Restoration.” Committed supporters for 2016 include the members of the Symposium Advisory committee: Yellowstone Conservation District, Yellowstone River Conservation District Council, Missouri River Conservation Districts Council, Stillwater Watershed Group, Musselshell Water Coalition, DNRC-Water Management Bureau, and Bureau of Land Management.
Spring 2016 Webinar Series. In lieu of the upcoming Symposium and busy schedules of our watershed coordinators, MWCC is launching its first webinar series as a cost and time-saving way to share information with watershed groups. Topics include: State Procurement Guidelines (Montana Department of Environmental Quality), Overview of the Montana Water Information System (Montana State Library), Accessing Groundwater Information (Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology), and Accessing information on Montana’s Animals, Plants, and Biological Communities (Natural Heritage Program). Training materials will then be archived on the MWCC website and provide building blocks for future training. More details can be found on our Spring Webinar Series Page.
Environmental Education Mini Grants. MWCC is assisting Montana Watercourse in awarding five mini grants through the EPA Empowerment Program for environmental education projects throughout the state. Activities include water conservation through community gardening, community-wide non point source education, observing forest fire impacts to water quality through school-based water monitoring teams, and outdoor education. MWCC’s role is promotion of the opportunity as well as grant review and distribution.
Enhanced Online Resources. MWCC is currently seeking funding from many avenues for web development. MWCC’s website currently boasts an updated Watershed Coordinator Directory, an interactive Montana watersheds map, training & capacity-building Resources, calendar of water events, and Watershed News archive. Specific plans for 2016 include keeping this site updated and relevant as well as adding features. Namely, a Water Monitoring Clearinghouse, where monitoring locations of state, federal, tribal, and volunteer monitoring groups can inform one another on monitoring plans and information year to year. This space will serve as a one-stop shop for water monitoring resources and information. Current partners include: Montana State University Extension-Water Quality, Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Watercourse,
Big Sky Watershed Corps. MWCC has again assisted its partners, Montana Conservation Corps, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Montana in placing 20 Big Sky Watershed Corps members statewide. Members will collectively provide more than 25,000 hours of service to watershed groups. MWCC has also acquired over $65,000 in funding that went directly to host sites to assist in covering host site fees, professional development, and other service member related costs. In 2016, MWCC will continue grant administration on pass through funding and recruit and approve host sites for the 2017 Big Sky Watershed Corps Program.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Capacity Building Program.Thanks to a multi-year partnership with BLM, the MWCC is available to assist conservation groups in eastern Montana who have a watershed goal or idea, but could use assistance building a specific capacity needed in order to reach their goals. MWCC will be approving project proposals in Spring 2016 and tracking capacity building activities throughout the year.
Missouri Headwaters Partnership. With the help of the Wilburforce Foundation, MWCC recently initiated a pass through capacity funding program for the Missouri Headwaters Partnership, a collective group of the nine sub-basin watershed groups in the upper Missouri Basin (upstream of Three Forks, MT). In 2016, MWCC will assist the group in defining its organizational structure and articulating shared conservation objectives. The result of this program will be direct capacity assistance to all nine participating groups as well as supporting a genuinely grass roots blue print for conservation objectives in the Basin.
Bringing People together
2016 Annual Meeting & Symposium. In December 2015, MWCC packed the Fish Wildlife & Parks Wild Center for its 2016 Annual Meeting. The meeting was a learning experience as well as a networking opportunity for watershed coordinators and agency personnel. MWCC understands that watershed work is accomplished through relationship building. The MWCC Annual Meeting and Symposium provide the opportunity for local watershed coordinators to meet with agency program personnel and grant managers to set the stage for current restoration projects. Funding will assist MWCC in executing the 2016 Symposium and 2017 Annual Meeting.
Coordination in the Clark Fork Basin. MWCC was asked in October 2015 to assist the Clark Fork Task Force in re visioning the role and purpose of a basin-wide coordinating entity. With help from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation MWCC will bring interested stakeholders within the Clark Fork Basin together for a series of facilitated meetings to assess the value and determine the need and purpose of a basin-wide collaborative.
MWCC assisted in placing 20 Big Sky Watershed Corps members with watershed groups throughout Montana. Big Sky Watershed Corps members directly enhance the capacity of local watershed groups by providing over 1,300 hours of direct service to their host watershed group. The program amounts to over 25,000 hours of services statewide per year. Big Sky Watershed Corps members coordinate volunteer monitoring teams, create watershed restoration and sampling and analysis plans, implement restoration projects, and develop drought management strategies.
In Summer 2015, MWCC partnered with the Montana Wetland Council to provide a two-day workshop on passive restoration. This training attracted a sold-out crowd of state and federal agency resource managers and local watershed coordinators.
In October 2015, MWCC hosted a successful, first-ever joint meeting with the Montana Chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA). The meeting highlighted the integration of science and management across Montana and had a record number of participants.
The MWCC Watershed News, our bi monthly newsletter, has significantly increased its readership to over 800 recipients and an average open rate of 33% and click through rate of 13%, which exceeds industry averages.