The Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group and Montana Freshwaters Partners is developing an Upper Yellowstone Watershed Project Prioritization Plan. The Plan will develop a framework for partner and landowner engagement and collaboration; facilitate a process to identify important restoration projects and/or needed studies/ monitoring efforts with agencies and stakeholders; and prioritize projects that will support and improve drought resiliency and watershed health including improved water quality and quantity, soil health, wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement, invasive species control, land preservation, drought and flood resiliency, and recreational use pressures. Examples of project types that may be included are: opportunities to conserve open space and working farms and ranches through conservation easements and channel migration easements, wetland and stream restoration and enhancement projects, beaver mimicry projects to improve stream health and natural water storage, enhancement of instream flows, fish passage projects (culvert replacement etc.), irrigation efficiency projects, invasive species control, and soil health projects.
Ultimately, the intent is that the Watershed Project Prioritization Plan would be a catalyst for project implementation and also help UYWG members to leverage additional funding (i.e. DEQ 319 funding, Future Fisheries, public and private grants) for the Upper Yellowstone and Shields watersheds. We are also hoping this effort will increase understanding and awareness around the challenges and solutions to support watershed health and resilience in the communities within the Upper Yellowstone Watershed. If you have a project idea or would like to request a site visit, please contact Leah Swartz firstname.lastname@example.org