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

Conservation Conversations

Join MWCC and our watershed partners on occasional Wednesdays at noon for an hour of learning, sharing, and connecting over lunch. These informal online gatherings begin with a brief (10- to 15-minute) presentation by one of MWCC’s network partners on a topic relevant to local watershed conservation. The rest of the hour is dedicated to questions and discussion. Registration for all lunchtime Conservation Conversations is free.

Scroll down to see a list of upcoming conversations, as well as recordings and slides for past conversations.

Upcoming Conservation Conversations

  • We’re taking a break for the summer. We’re working on some conversations around fundraising partnerships in August or September, though. Details coming soon!

If you’d like to present at an upcoming Conservation Conversation, reach out to Watershed Programs Coordinator Terri Nichols at terri@mtwatersheds.org.

Past Conservation Conversations

Heart of the Rockies Initiative, a partnership of land trusts across the Central Rocky Mountains, is transforming the way they approach their external work and partnerships by focusing on Justice, Equity, and Inclusion principles within their own organization. Kali Hannon, Heart of the Rockies Managing Director; Bray Beltrán, Heart of the Rockies Conservation & Equity Director; and Emma Gjullin, Development and Communications Coordinator, shared their experiences through this process and what it means to put equity and justice at the forefront of land conservation work. View the recording HERE. (We forgot to record Terri’s introduction of Kali, Bray, and Emma, but everything else is there!)

Bray also shared with us this fascinating article about Why Equality in America Is So Elusive, as well as the Radical Candor website, which provides a framework to help organizations embrace honest feedback and uncomfortable conversations as a way of caring for one another, rather than falling into the trap of “niceness” without challenging one another. At its core, Radical Candor is guidance and feedback that’s both kind and clear, specific and sincere.

It’s a perennial challenge: Where do we find enough match funding to go with our grants? Christine Brissette, Project Manager for Trout Unlimited, shared her strategies for creatively leveraging both cash and in-kind services, and several other grant managers and funders chimed in with their own challenges, ideas, and tips. Click the links to view the recording and download Christine’s presentation slides. Christine also shared with us an example of the match tracking spreadsheet she uses.

This conversation centered on the importance of historical context, patience, and humility in stream restoration planning. Karin Boyd, a fluvial geomorphologist with Applied Geomorphology in Bozeman, shared examples and lessons learned from her work and experiences across the state and around the world. Click the links to view the recording and download Karin’s presentation slides. Additional resources shared during this conversation include Montana DNRC’s Stream Permitting Guide and the Living on the Bank project.

Our February 2022 conversation was all about using willow soil lifts to reduce erosion and improve habitat along rivers and streams. Jeff Ryan, supervisor for the Lewis & Clark Conservation District, led the conversation. We forgot to record this one, but you can learn all about this process through the educational StoryMap of a project on the Upper Musselshell that Jeff shared during his presentation, and through the before-and-after photos of an earlier bank restoration project on Jumping Creek (scroll down to pages 5-7). Jeff received a 2021 Watershed Stewardship Award for his efforts and expertise.

Our January 12, 2022 conversation focused on watershed monitoring, including the purpose of monitoring, monitoring goals, funding, and other resources. Rachel Malison, Program Manager for Monitoring Montana Waters, and Abbie Ebert, Water Quality Monitoring Specialist for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, led the conversation. Click the links to view the recording and download Abbie and Rachel’s presentation slides.

On November 10, 2021, Wendy Weaver, Executive Director of Montana Freshwater Partners (MFP – formerly Montana Aquatic Resources Services), spoke about the many services MFP offers to local watershed conservation organizations. Her presentation led to a conversation about the need for more funding and planning resources in our local watershed communities. Click the links to view the recording and download Wendy’s presentation slides.

We kicked off the series on October 13, 2021 by celebrating and learning from one of our 2021 Watershed Stewardship Award recipients. Gerald Wagner and Termaine Edmo from the Blackfeet Environmental Office spoke about the Blackfeet Nation Ksik Stakii (Beaver) Project, including challenges and successes. View the recording here.

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