|CD - 97847501-1 |
|EPA R8||R8 - Region 8|
|MTUNIV - The University of Montana|
|State Institution of Higher Learning|
Project Title & Description
The Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP) plans to produce a comprehensive landscape profile and Level I assessment of riparian forests, shrublands, and wetlands along Montana’s large river systems. Although the Clean Water Act protects the wetland component of these ecosystems from direct dredge and fill activities, it offers no protection to surrounding riparian features where soils, vegetation, or hydrology do not meet the jurisdictional thresholds of “waters of the United States.” As a result, flooplain wetlands are often ecologically isolated from the dynamics that create and sustain them. This project will apply GIS-based landscape profiling and Level I assessment tools to characterize riparian and wetland condition along each reach of every large river in Montana. This statewide, reach-by-reach condition characterization will give local planners, watershed groups, and resource managers geographically-specific data to use in watershed plans, conservation efforts, and TMDL development. To ensure broad dissemination and use of results, we have planned a comprehensive outreach strategy involving map packages tailored to each county and watershed, fact sheets, web information, presentations, and a minimum of four workshops, one geared toward local, regional, and tribal planners, one to floodplain managers, one to watershed groups, and one to GIS professionals. The Level I assessment tools, training materials and templates will be broadly transferable to other wetland programs in Region 8 states.
|Project Officer|| Toney Ott|| |
|Grant Specialist|| Angela Mendiola|| |