Montana Wetlands

700 Words3 Pages
In the state of Montana (MT) it is estimated that wetlands make up less than one percent of the entire landscape (DEQ, 2013), which only signifies their importance to the ecological health of the state and its waters. Montana’s wetlands and riparian areas are a priceless resource that provide a variety of ecosystem functions. These function include, clean water, fish and wildlife habitats, flood reduction, flow regulation, nutrient and pollution removal, and so much more. These resources add immense value to those who are lucky enough to call MT home. They are also critical for the water quality and quantity they provide to Montanans and their economy. Unfortunately, the wetland and riparian resources of MT have been negatively affected…show more content…
This limited understanding by watershed groups, local governments, landowners, and others leads to a concentrated focus on rivers and streams water quality, and not on the associated wetlands, which are a vital part of a functioning watershed (DEG, 2013). According to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) (2013), the absence of wetland programs at the state level contributes to indirect impacts to wetlands that greatly affect the health of a watershed. To address this issue, and to restore, sustain, and protect MT’s remaining wetlands, the Montana Wetland Council (MWC), led by DEQ, has developed statewide framework, Priceless Resources: A Strategic Framework for Wetland and Riparian Area Conservation and Restoration in Montana 2013–2017. This framework, which builds on the prior framework, Priceless Resources: Strategic Framework for Wetland and Riparian Area Conservation and Restoration in Montana 2008–2012, provides a focused approach to protecting MT’s wetland…show more content…
With a riparian goal to protect, maintain, and restore the ecological integrity of riparian areas (MWC, 2008 & 2013). In order to attain these goals, MWC (2013) developed seven strategic directions: 1). Restoration, protection, and management through support and participation of on the ground projects and practices with the intended outcome of MT’s land and resource managers have ample human and financial support to supportively restore, conserve, protect, and increase its wetlands, riparian areas, streams, and associated uplands; 2) Support the completion, maintenance, and dissemination of statewide digital wetland and riparian mapping information with proper training for all entities with the intended outcome that maps are used as a critical tool; 3) Monitoring and assessment by encouraging data collection, integration to inform local planning, protection, restoration, and landscape level decision making with the desired outcome that decision makers, resource managers, and the public can rely on the monitoring information as accurate and sound science-based information; 4) Support local, state, tribal, and federal governments with planning and policy with the intended goal these governments are well equipped with the
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