The Watershed Approach

The Watershed Approach to conservation is a distinct strategy – one rooted in the unique values of Montana’s individual watershed communities, as well as efforts to work collaboratively among diverse stakeholders within those communities. The watershed organizations MWCC supports encompass a wide range of goals and organizational structures. However, each embodies a set of shared principles centered around these key tenets.

In general, the Watershed Approach:

  • Is tied to a distinct land area or hydrologic boundary
  • Ensures broad stakeholder involvement and inclusivity
  • Is community-based and community-driven
  • Relies on local leadership
  • Encourages collaboration with partners in the watershed
  • Strives for consensus, and avoids litigation as a conservation strategy

These shared principles of the Watershed Approach provide a framework under which watershed organizations may successfully define and pursue the conservation goals that best serve their geographic communities.

As MWCC works to grow our services to Montana’s local watershed organizations, establishing a shared vision of the Watershed Approach helps us to better articulate, represent, and support the values and efforts of the groups that embody these shared principles. Defining the Watershed Approach in Montana is a work in progress that MWCC and its partner organizations are in the process of refining.