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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Upper Columbia Conservation Commission seeking new representatives


The Upper Columbia Conservation Commission is currently seeking interested members of conservation, natural resource or hunting/fishing organizations to serve on the commission.

The Upper Columbia Conservation Commission (UC3)is a legislatively-created Commission created to enhance aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention efforts in the Upper Columbia Basin. UC3 is comprised of 14 voting members appointed by the Governor, four legislators appointed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, and five ‘ex-officio’ non-voting members.

Created by the 2017 legislature after the detection of invasive mussel larvae in two Montana reservoirs east of the Continental Divide, the Commission has been able to leverage partnerships and solidify grant funding for on-the-ground projects to augment Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Aquatic Invasive Species Program over the past two and a half years. UC3 is an administrative attachment to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, which supplies staff and a budget to support the work of the Commission and the travel of its members.

Senate Bill 257—which passed in the last legislative session—expanded the UC3 membership to include sub-basins of the Upper Columbia. We are seeking enthusiastic and interested volunteers that represent a ‘conservation, natural resource or hunting/fishing organization’ in the following basins (see map):

  • Upper/Middle Clark Fork River Basins;
  • Bitterroot River Basin;
  • Swan/Blackfoot River Basins;
  • Kootenai River Basin; and
  • Lower Clark Fork River Basin.

The process for becoming appointed starts with an application to the Governor’s Office. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the UC3’s Commission Administrator for more information.

Current projects of the Commission include:

  • Development of an AIS annual monitoring plan;
  • Oversight of a contract to expand AIS monitoring efforts in the Upper Columbia Basin;
  • Targeted outreach to marinas, boating and angling/fly shops in the Upper Columbia Basin;
  • Supporting Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks with enhancing coordination and roll out of new policies including ballast boat decontamination and implementation of new funding mechanisms.

 

All UC3 meetings are open to the public. Interested parties, stakeholders and the public are encouraged to attend. For more information, Kate Wilson, Commission Administrator (406.542.4282 or kate.wilson@mt.gov).