MISSOULA – Stakeholders from the Clark Fork and Kootenai river basins in western Montana will gather to form the Clark Fork Basin Council on April 19-20 in the University Center at the University of Montana.
The council will provide a regional coordinating entity to optimize resource use and conservation, provide regional guidance on water-related topics, and reduce duplication of efforts. Members of the public and UM students are invited to attend. There is no registration fee, but those interested in attending should RSVP at http://mtwatersheds.org/app/clark-fork-basin-council/. Visit the website for an event schedule.
The Clark Fork Basin Council is an outgrowth of decades of activities by various groups. Two groups chartered by the Montana Legislature – the Clark Fork Task Force and the Upper Clark Fork Steering Committee – developed a basin water plan and helped develop a state water plan. Based on recommendations in the plan itself, the citizens who worked on those efforts have now decided to form a basin council to work on implementation.
“In order for this new council to be a success, a wide variety of water users need to participate,” said Mike Sweet with the Montana Climate Office. “We need that participation so we can continue to support the healthy river basins we all use and love here in western Montana.”
This first meeting of the Clark Fork Basin Council is supported by UM’s Watershed Health Clinic under the Department of Environmental Studies, the Montana Climate Office under the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, the Montana Watershed Coordination Council, the Bonneville Environmental Fund and stakeholders within the Clark Fork and Kootenai river basins.