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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (UC3)


Upper Columbia Conservation Commission Established to Protect Western Waters from Aquatic Invasive Species Threats 

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In response to the invasive mussel detections in two Montana waterways last year, the 2017 Legislature established the Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (UC3) to enhance early detection and rapid response efforts through increased coordination with water management agencies within the Columbia River Basin in Montana, as well as provincial and state partners in the basin.

The purpose of the UC3 is to protect the aquatic environment in tributaries to the Columbia river from the threat of invasive species. Through cooperative efforts, the UC3 is tasked with monitoring the condition of aquatic resources in the tributaries to the Columbia river by providing coordination on response and detection efforts.

“Ensuring our early detection monitoring programs are coordinated and comprehensive, as well as preparing for an emergency response to an AIS detection will be the focus of the group,” said Tom Woolf, Montana’s Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau Chief. “The Columbia River Basin is the largest watershed in the lower 48 that doesn’t have mussels and Montana is working hard to to keep it that way.”


The Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (UC3) was created to protect the aquatic environment in tributaries to the Columbia river from the threat of invasive species. Through cooperative efforts, the UC3 is tasked with monitoring the condition of aquatic resources in the tributaries to the Columbia river by providing coordination on response and detection efforts.

The following individuals  have been appointed by Governor Bullock to serve on the commission:

  • Lori Curtis, Whitefish. UC3 Chair. Qualification: representative of conservation districts. Curis is the Flathead Conservation District Supervisor and the director of science and education at the Whitefish Lake Institute.  
  • Dennis Clairmont, Pablo. Qualification: representative of Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Clairmont represents the Pablo District on the CSKT Tribal Council.
  • Mike Koopal, Whitefish. Qualification: member-at-large. Koopal is the Executive Director of the Whitefish Lake Institute.
  • Paul Kusnierz, Noxon. Qualification: representative of the hydropower utility industry. Kusnierz is a fisheries biologist at Avista Utilities.
  • Tom Woolf, Helena. Qualification: representative of the Invasive Species Council. Woolf is the Chief of the Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
  • Phil Matson, Columbia Falls. Qualification: representative of private landowners in the Upper Columbia Basin. Matson is a research specialist at the Flathead Biological Station. 
  • Brian 'BJ' Johnson, Kalispell. Qualification: representative of recreation organizations. Johnson is the owner and lead guide for 'Sea Me Paddle' kayaking tours. 
  • Chris Parrott, Kalispell. Qualification: representative of private industry. Parrott is the general manager for Jesco Marine. 
  • Stacey Schnebel, Coram. Qualification: representative of electric cooperatives in the Upper Columbia basin. Schnebel is on the board of the Flathead Electric Co-op and also represents the Flathead Electric Co-op and the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association.  

 

In addition to the above appointed (voting) members, a number of federal agencies serve in an ex-officio role on the UC3. All meetings are open to the public. Executive Committee meetings (Chair, Vice-Chair and staff) are held every 2nd Wednesday at 9:00 AM (date/time subject to change based on availability). 

AGENDAS & PUBLICATIONS

Oct 4 2017 Minutes

Dec 11-12 2017 AIS WORKSHOP REPORT

Jan 24 2018 Agenda

Jan 24 Meeting Minutes

March 14 2018 Agenda

March 14 2018 Minutes

June 13 2018 Agenda

June 13 2018 Minutes

September 26 2018 Agenda

Contact Us:

Kate Wilson, Commission Administrator

406.542.4282

kate.wilson@mt.gov

Date:          September 26, 2018

Time:          9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                 

Location:    Glacier National Park
                   Community Building 
                  (See directions in Agenda)