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The Montana Conservationist March 21

Greetings, TMC readers! Happy first day of spring!! Yes, we really did make it. And from my office in NW Montana, it really truly is evenĀ feeling like spring. Hoorah!

This week in TMC:

  • Studies have consistently shown that septic leachate is a problem in Montana Lakes, but solutions are elusive. A recent talk at the Montana Lakes Conference covered the issue and possible things that can be done.
  • Sage Grouse Initiative reports that wet mesic habitats are among the most important places to protect and conserve rangeland resilience.
  • Flooding in Missoula last spring raised concerns about the Smurfit-Stone mill site, and the potential for contaminated water to leak into the Clark Fork River. Unfortunately, botched fish samples taken last year will mean a year’s delay in the environmental assessment at the site.
  • A new monitoring method at Duke University that combines surface and air temperature measurements allows scientists to identify the onset of drought sooner. They’ve created a public website where monthly maps are posted, pinpointing locations across the US where drought conditions may be occurring.
  • Montana’s Water Court has been around for 40 years, and although there are still plenty of adjudications left to process, the legislature has started to think about the future of the court once that process is completed.
  • A recent study in Vancouver, BC has shown that urban beehives can be used to pinpoint pollution by measuring concentrations of pollutions in bees’ honey.
  • NRCS Montana has announced 2019 funding through the targeted EQIP Incentives program for Organic conversions and Sage Grouse cropland seeding.
  • FWP can is reimbursing landowners for conserving grassland through the CRP program.
  • And finally, just two months after signing the 2018 Farm Bill, President Trump’s proposed budget is proposing to reopen the bill and slash spending on several programs the bill supported. Though it’s unlikely the proposed budget will pass through Congress without alteration, it’s important to keep an eye on these negotiations.

All of that plus TWO pages of opportunities (grants! events! jobs!) in today’s edition of The Montana Conservationist: TMC 2019-03-21

Kate Arpin

Kate is the Communications and Technology Manager for Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Montana. She manages the website, puts out The Montana Conservationist every other week, and assists conservation districts with technology, websites, and communications.

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