The MWCC Watershed Fund provides direct support to our community-based Watershed Partners for capacity-building, professional development, and on-the-ground projects on private lands. Since 2015, the Fund has generated more than $450,000 to help our local partners coordinate and implement natural resource management efforts.
The two primary goals of the Watershed Fund are:
- Increase the capacity of local communities to advance community-based, locally led conservation using the Watershed Approach.
- Provide a model for streamlining, consolidating, and leveraging resources for locally led conservation statewide.
Award amounts vary. Up to $20,000 is available for on-the-ground stewardship projects. Smaller amounts are available for non-project funding.
Watershed Fund grants require matching funds. Each watershed partner has leveraged watershed fund dollars with other non profit contributions, grants, as well as local cash and in kind resources. We are proud to be merely one significant financial resource among the many that are creatively brought to the table by our watershed partners.
MWCC tracks Watershed Fund success through:
- Stream miles improved
- Acres made more resilient
- Stakeholders engaged
- Conservation practices implemented
We are currently seeking a Watershed Fund Committee member. Check out the position description here!
Watershed Fund Opportunities
2018-2019 Project Support
The Watershed Fund supported 12 on-the-ground projects carried out by 10 locally driven Montana watershed organizations in 2018-2019. Click on the map links below to learn more.
After photo of an earlier phase of the Nevada Creek project, completed by Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited in partnership with Blackfoot Challenge.
Volunteers installing fencing to protect a restoration project in the Bitterroot
Cameron Creek in the Bitterroot
Beaver dam analog on East Fork of Divide Creek in the Big Hole
Streambank erosion on Racetrack Creek in the Upper Clark Fork
Volunteers gather to learn about the effects on nonpoint source pollution – including pet waste – on the West Gallatin
East Gallatin streambank after stabilization
Volunteer harvesting willow stems for the Dry Creek restoration project in the Gallatin
Bank revegetation and stabilization along the Swan River
Riparian fencing along Prickly Pear Creek in the Lake Helena watershed
Restoration on an earlier phase of the Jack Creek project in the Madison
A new bridge improves fish passage on Brewster Creek, a tributary of Rock Creek and the Upper Clark Fork River
More than 20 volunteers helped the Blackfoot Challenge install 20 beaver dam analogs along the Blackfoot Watershed’s Chimney Creek — helping to restore a historic wetland complex, improve riparian habitat, and benefit water quality.
Bear Creek construction with landowner
Volunteer willow harvesting
Volunteers planting dormant willow stems
A volunteer collecting pet waste and trash on the West Fork of the Gallatin
2019 Capacity Support
The Watershed Fund supported 13 locally driven Montana watershed organizations with capacity-building support in 2019. The following list includes both support for hosting Big Sky Watershed Corps members as well as more general capacity support.
- Blackfeet Nation Fish & Wildlife, in partnership with the Center for Large Landscape Conservation
- Blackfoot Challenge
- Big Hole Watershed Committee
- Bitter Root Water Forum
- Clearwater Resource Council
- Crown Managers Partnership
- Gallatin River Task Force
- Greater Gallatin Watershed Council
- Lake County Conservation District
- Lolo Watershed Group
- Musselshell Watershed Coalition
- Ruby Valley Conservation District
- Sun River Watershed Group
The following funding partners make MWCC Watershed Fund support possible
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Arthur M Blank Foundation, Turner Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, Wilburforce, and Cinnabar Foundation.