John Tubbs, DNRC Director
Welcome to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation!
I am honored to serve Governor Steve Bullock and the great people of Montana as Director. My career in resource management and public service includes 23 years working for DNRC, first as a water resources economist and most recently as administrator of the Water Resources Division from 2006-2009. Following three-and-a-half years as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science with the U.S. Department of the Interior, I have the great fortune of returning to my hometown and the state agency I started with.
Montana’s constitution preamble states “We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.” These expressed values are represented in the Department’s mission and underlie all of the programs and projects we work on every day.
Our mission: To help ensure that Montana's land and water resources provide benefits for present and future generations.
How does DNRC serve Montana? Here’s a quick overview:
Our TRUST LANDS MANAGEMENT DIVISION oversees 5.2 million acres of state trust land. Through programs including sustainable forestry, agriculture, grazing and energy leasing, we generate millions of dollars annually for K-12 public education, including school facilities and classroom technology. Montana’s Trust Lands are a vital component of local economies and also provide tremendous recreation opportunities for hunters, anglers, hikers and horseback riders
The WATER RESOURCES DIVISION is responsible for managing Montana’s water for the present and future needs of its people. We compile accurate, up-to-date stream flow data from more than 90 monitoring gages, providing critical data for managing reservoirs, irrigation schedules, water rights permitting and adjudication, floodplain management and other services for farmers, ranchers, citizens and communities. We also manage the operation and maintenance of 24 state-owned dams and 250 miles of irrigation canals.
Based in Missoula, the FORESTRY DIVISION promotes responsible and proactive stewardship of Montana’s forests and rural lands. Our programs help private landowners manage their forested lands, and help cities and towns develop vibrant parks, boulevards and natural areas. We respond to wildfires, insect pests and diseases, and advocate for sustainable forest management practices on private, state, tribal and federal forestlands. We value Montana’s integrated forest industry and its social, economic and environmental benefits.
Through regulation and remediation, the MONTANA BOARD OF OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION protects citizens and the environment from the impacts of oil and gas activities. The Board is responsible for permitting all oil and gas wells and regulates the underground injecting program. Staff identify projects and hire contractors for remediation efforts such as plugging orphaned wells and restoring abandoned well sites. The Board is also responsible for inspecting oil and gas wells and operations to ensure they comply with all state environmental laws.
An essential component of Montana’s ongoing adjudication of water right claims includes quantifying the federal reserved water rights held by Montana Indian tribes and federal agencies. The RESERVED WATER RIGHTS COMPACT COMMISSION negotiates settlements with Tribal and federal stakeholders, providing all Montana water users with a degree of certainty regarding current and future water rights. The negotiation process gives all citizens a voice in how the water compacts are written.
Grant and loan programs administered by our CONSERVATION AND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT DIVISION enable communities to modernize wastewater treatment and water systems; to reclaim lands impacted by mining; and fight the spread of aquatic invasive species. We also work closely with Montana’s 58 Conservation Districts with programs that offer the latest rangeland management strategies, mitigate stream bank erosion, and reclaim soils damaged by saline seepage.
Though our programs are diverse, the 550 employees of Montana DNRC share a passion for stewardship and public service. I invite you to browse the pages of this Web site to learn more about who we are and what we do. Whether you need help with a water permit, want to learn how to better protect your property from wildfire, or are interested in finding state trust land for lease, we’re here to help. Thanks for letting us serve you.
John E. Tubbs, Director January, 2013