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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

Capacity Support: Establishing a Cooperative Weed Management Area in the Musselshell

Montana Conservation Corps Crew working with the Musselshell/Golden Valley Weed District Coordinator to remove Salt Cedar.
Overview:

The spread of invasive weed species is a serious and growing concern along the Musselshell River. To help combat this issue, the Musselshell Watershed Coalition (MWC) established a Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) with support from MWCC Watershed Fund Capacity Support. The CWMA’s primary goal is to improve communication along the Musselshell River Corridor. The MWC has convened the CWMA twice a year for the past two years to help identify projects and share successes and challenges of various treatment methods. This has resulted in 2,403 additional acres being treated and better cooperation in weed treatment and management. In all, 28 people participated in CWMA meetings, representing 20 organizations.

Accomplishments:
  • 28 stakeholders engaged, including landowners, conservation districts, water user associations, state government agencies, and federal government agencies
  • 1 conservation practice implemented
    • Terrestrial weed control
  • 2,403 acres of floodplain/riparian buffer made more resilient to changing conditions
  • 12 streams and lakeshore miles improved
  • To make this project more sustainable, an integrated weed management plan was written and approved by the CWMA steering committee. 
Future impacts on the Musselshell Watershed and its communities:

MWC has started the fight against invasive weed species that have taken over the Musselshell River. With the establishment of CWMA, we have seen new and existing partners coming together and strengthening their relationships. This is improving communication throughout the community. MWC expects these increased communications and strengthened relationships to result in more invasive species projects completed over time.

Meeting participants discussing invasive species prevention.
Impact of the Watershed Fund:
  • Helped us cultivate relationships with funders
  • More project and program funding available
  • Improvements to our organization’s core competencies
  • Increased ability to complete projects that improve watershed resources
  • More effective communications with our community and partners
  • Greater focus on high-impact conservation projects
  • Cultivation of more inclusive and diverse partnerships
  • Building long-term relationships and trust within our community
  • Stakeholder and community support for our work strengthened
  • Meaningful step(s) made toward a healthy and productive watershed
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