Skip to content

Montana Watershed Coordination Council | P.O. Box 1416 Helena, MT 59624 | info@mtwatersheds.orgClick Here to Sign-up for our Watershed Newsletter

Montana’s Watersheds


What is a Watershed?

A watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of the community.” – John Wesley Powell

MWCC Partner organizations employ the Watershed Approach to conservation.

This 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 organizations MWCC supports encompass a wide range of conservation goals and organizational structures. However, each embodies a set of shared principles centered around these key tenets.

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
Montana’s Watersheds

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. Learn more about the organizations promoting these local and inclusive conservation approaches by visiting the Watershed Directory.