Wetland & Watershed Stewardship Award Winners Announced
Montana Wetland Council and Montana Watershed Coordination Council are pleased to announce the 2015 Wetland and Watershed Stewardship Award Recipients.
Every two years, the Montana Wetland Council and the Montana Watershed Coordination Council jointly honor stewardship award recipients. The Montana Wetland Stewardship Awards recognize individuals and/or teams who exemplify excellence, innovation and extraordinary commitment in wetland protection, restoration, and conservation. The Montana Watershed Stewardship Award recognizes innovative, locally led approaches to restoring and enhancing Montana’s watersheds.
Congratulations to the following winners!
Montana Ducks Unlimited, Inc- 2015 Wetland Stewardship Award Recipient
Since their first project was delivered in Montana 1984, Ducks Unlimited has been at the forefront of wetland conservation in Montana. Over the last 30 years, DU has worked state-wide to deliver more than 500 projects that have conserved nearly 70,000 acres of Montana’s wetlands and associated grasslands. Ducks Unlimited’s network of members and volunteers, over 7,000 strong in Montana, provides the grassroots funding base to fuel a diversity of projects that includes wetland restoration, land protection and public policy work. In addition to their on-the-ground conservation successes, Ducks Unlimited’s ability to build partnerships that include government agencies, non-profit organizations and private landowners, is arguably their most important contribution to Montana’s wetland and wildlife resources. DU’s innovative Revolving Lands Program benefits sustainable grazing and acquires voluntary conservation easements on the property prior to selling the property to local ranchers. Honoring traditional land uses and improving habitat: what a tremendous win all the way around!
Wetland and Riparian Mapping Center, Montana Natural Heritage Program- 2015 Wetland Stewardship Award Recipient
After nearly 10 years, the goal of creating a statewide digital wetland and riparian mapping layer is within reach thanks to the dedicated team at the Montana Natural Heritage Program’s Wetland and Riparian Mapping Center. New digital mapping based on high resolution aerial imagery has identified more than 2 million acres of wetlands and 600,000 acres of riparian areas in Montana. These maps, available in multiple electronic formats, provide crucial data for protection, restoration, conservation, and management. Managers, planners, scientists, and watershed groups now have fast, free access to information on the type, size, location, and distribution of wetland and riparian resources. These maps, one of 15 official GIS data layers for the State, are used at every level of government and in the private sector, and are being incorporated into statewide hydrography and land cover data sets as the most current source of water resource mapping. Approximately 80% of Montana is complete and another 10% has been funded. http://mtnhp.org/nwi/
Kris Newgard, Kootenai National Forest Hydrologist, Three Rivers District- 2015 Watershed Stewardship Award Recipient
Kris Newgard has been a champion of the Yaak Headwaters Restoration Partnership since its inception in 1999. The partnership includes the Kootenai National Forest, Yaak Valley Forest Council, Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and Trout Unlimited. The main focus of the group has been to protect and restore native trout and fish habitat in the Yaak River valley and the Three Rivers district of the Kootenai. Kris has consistently led the partnership through her firsthand knowledge of the watershed, commitment to its restoration and dedication to her job. Through her leadership numerous multi-discipline projects have been implemented stabilizing and improving the health of the Yaak watershed and the streams south of Troy. Not only does she inspire those she works with, but she has set a precedent for future work in the Yaak valley.
Musselshell Watershed Coalition- 2015 Watershed Stewardship Award Recipient
The Musselshell River is one of Montana’s longest and historically significant rivers. It is the only major watershed in Montana that is controlled without any federal oversight. The host of interrelated problems requiring a watershed approach to management is formidable. The Musselshell River is chronically short of water, and up until just a few years ago was dewatered on an annual basis.
Formed in 2009, the Musselshell Watershed Coalition (MWC) is a partnership of individuals, organizations, and agencies working towards whole basin management through collaboration along the entire length of the 342 mile Musselshell River. Four water-user groups, several conservation districts, and state and federal agencies across the Musselshell, Golden Valley, Wheatland, Garfield and Petroleum counties are all actively engaged in the coalition. MWC has become the default forum for addressing many important river management issues within this vast watershed.
Please help us acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of these Award Recipients at our Award Ceremony to be held May 28, 2015 at the State Capitol in Helena, Montana.
|9:00||Award Recipients Presentations||Room 152|
|11:00||Formal Award Ceremony||Old Supreme Court Chambers|
|12:30||Complimentary Celebratory Luncheon and Networking||Capitol Rotunda|