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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

MWCC Training

Scroll down to see more upcoming trainings, including Lunchtime Conservation Conversations.

Capacity-Building Workshop with Future West and MWCC Registration Extended through Monday, May 9!

Future West and the Montana Watershed Coordination Council invite local conservation leaders to attend an in-person capacity-building workshop on Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Virginia City. We will focus on increasing the sustainability and impact of our work through stronger relationships and collaborative fundraising solutions to achieve local conservation goals. Included in the workshop will be an optional gathering the evening of May 18 to get to know one another and get our collective, creative juices flowing. Scroll down to see the workshop agenda, registration link, lodging options, and workshop panelist and facilitator bios.

Watershed groups, conservation districts, Tribal government agencies, and municipal governments are invited to attend. The workshop will take place in an outdoor venue, and we will follow Covid-19 protocols as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at that time. Registration is $40 per person. The optional evening gathering on May 18 is free. Registration closes on Monday, May 9 and is limited to 60 people. Because a major focus of this workshop will be collaborative, community-based communications and fundraising, we encourage you to attend with one of your community partners if possible. Everyone must register individually.

We have scholarship funding to offset travel costs for our partners. To be considered for scholarship funding, you must answer the additional registration questions regarding travel costs and reimbursement. Lodging information is included on this page, below the agenda and registration links. Lodging discounts are available until May 1.

Workshop Objectives

  • Engage with funders to better understand the funding landscape, process, and opportunities
  • Identify ways to maintain organizational mission and vision while incorporating more diverse partnerships and fundraising opportunities
  • Effectively leverage communications to support diverse community partnerships and funding strategies
  • Develop and strengthen relationships

This event will address needs identified during our co-hosted November 11, 2021 capacity-building peer-to-peer exchange: “Building Organizational and Community Resiliency in the New West.”

This free event offered watershed groups, conservation districts, and other local conservation leaders the space to discuss ongoing changes in our communities and to share resources for adapting and responding – while staying true to our organizational missions and visions.

You can view the Agenda and read the Peer-to-Peer Exchange Summary for key takeaways and highlights. The summary contains links to summary slides from our panelists and from break-out discussions among all the participants. You can also watch the recording on Future West’s YouTube channel. It’s saved in two parts: Part 1 is our Keynote Panel and Discussion; Part 2, “Tying it All Together” is the conversation we had as a group after our smaller break-out sessions.

This event was supported, in part, by the Western Collaborative Conservation Network.

Lunchtime 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

  • May 11, 2022: Bray Beltrán and Kali Hannon on Centering Justice, Equity, and Inclusion in Conservation. 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, Heart of the Rockies Managing Director, and Bray, Heart of the Rockies Conservation & Equity Director, will share their experiences through this process and lead a discussion that will challenge us to think about ways we can be more just, equitable, and inclusive in our own conservation work. Register here.

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

Past Conservation Conversations

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.

More information about MWCC’s Trainings:

The Montana Watershed Coordination Council provides training opportunities for watershed professionals around the state. Available trainings will be announced as they are developed. Check back soon for upcoming training opportunities. In addition, MWCC provides professional development funding to qualified organizations to cover registration and travel costs associated with trainings and events (click here to learn more)

You can see a full list of training opportunities from our partners by visiting our training calendar.