2012 Resolutions

Resolution 12-01

SAGE-GROUSE STATUS

WHEREAS, sage-grouse populations have apparently declined over much of their historic range, and

WHEREAS, this decline has previously been caused by a loss of sagebrush habitat due to plowing, herbicide application, urban development and fire, and

WHEREAS, the other major causes of population decline have been due to predation and disease, and

WHEREAS, over the last 40 years in region 6, sage-grouse populations have remained stable, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and

WHEREAS, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks maintains that the region 6 sage-grouse population is thriving and healthy enough to support an annual hunting season, and

WHEREAS, there are no scientific studies or data that indicate livestock grazing adversely influences sage-grouse populations, and

WHEREAS, most area producers are using management practices which encourage the increase of sage-grouse populations,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Conservation Districts of Montana support healthy rangelands and policies that promote sustainable livestock production.

THEREFORE IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED, that Conservation Districts of Montana oppose listing  sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered species and requests that all federal agencies and actions comply with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and National Environmental Policy Act.

Submitted by:  Phillips CD

Area Meeting Action:    Passed Area III

MACD Committee Assignment:   Soil Resource & Land Use

General Session Action:  Passed

UPDATES to this Resolution:


Resolution 12-02

FUND MONTANA RIVER GAUGING STATIONS

WHEREAS, the streams of Montana are important to the state economy, are cyclical in flow volume, and flow volume depends on temperature, runoff, snow melt and weather events,

WHEREAS, river gauging stations now in use provide valuable information for water user association managers, irrigators, City Commissioners, National Weather Service, Fish Wildlife & Parks, NRCS, DNRC, DES, DEQ, EPA, fishing and water sportsmen, and guides, etc., and allow for advance warning to watersheds and towns of flooding events,

WHEREAS, the 223 Montana river gauging stations are under the control of USGS, are costly to run and maintain, and require $9,000 – $14,000 per station to maintain per year,

WHEREAS, USGS funds most of these stations through a cost/share program, and the funding provided by the other agencies is on a temporary basis,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that MACD work to develop permanent funding from private, state and federal programs to pay for the maintenance of the existing and future gauging stations that have been or will be abandoned due to lack of funding.

Submitted by:  Lower Musselshell CD

Area Meeting Action:    Passed Area IV

MACD Committee Assignment:   District Operations

General Session Action:  Passed

UPDATES to this Resolution:


Resolution 12-03

SUPPORTING CD-BASED RIVER COUNCILS & WATERSHED GROUPS IN MONTANA

WHEREAS, most local watershed groups and river councils are affiliated with Conservation Districts in Montana.  

WHEREAS, the 310 law gives conservation Districts authority to preserve and protect, “natural rivers and streams and the lands and property immediately adjacent to them” and,

WHEREAS, CD-based watershed groups and river councils assist Conservation Districts in providing local leadership, assistance, and guidance to private landowners for the voluntary implementation of Best Management Practices along Montana’s rivers and stream corridors and floodplains; and,

WHEREAS, CD-based watershed groups and river councils encourage and promote family farms and ranches in Montana based on the sustainable use of natural resources, and,

WHEREAS, CD-based watershed groups and river councils compete for private, local, state and federal funding necessary in keeping these groups operational

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that MACD will

  1. Provide direct fundraising support specifically targeting CD-based watershed groups and river councils in Montana.  
  2. Develop and secure technical assistance program funding from DNRC that can be used by Conservation Districts to keep local watershed groups and river councils operational.
  3. Make DNRC technical assistance program funding for CD-based watershed groups and river councils a priority item on MACD’s Montana legislative agenda.

Submitted by:  Treasure County Conservation District

Area Meeting Action:   Passed Area IV

MACD Committee Assignment:   District Operations

General Session Action:  Passed

UPDATES to this Resolution:


Resolution 12-04

CLARIFICATION OF 310 JURISDICTION ON PERENNIAL-FLOWING STREAMS

WHEREAS, the Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act of 1975 (Act or 310 Law) applies to projects that result in a change in the state of a natural, perennial-flowing stream or river, its bed, or its immediate banks;  

WHEREAS, the Act, the Administrative Rules of Montana, nor the Model Rules adopted by the conservation districts define the term “perennial-flowing stream;”

WHEREAS, it is the intent and policy of the Act that the 310 Law apply to natural, perennial-flowing streams which contain year round flow whether portions of a stream channel are naturally dry or are dry as a result of man’s activities;

WHEREAS, in a declaratory ruling before the Broadwater Conservation District the petitioner asserted that in determining whether a stream is a perennial-flowing stream, an intermittent-flowing stream, or an ephemeral-flowing stream the Broadwater Conservation District was required to apply the terms as defined by the mine reclamation laws;

WHEREAS, applying the definition of “perennial-flowing stream” under the mine reclamation laws would restrict jurisdiction under the Act in violation of the intent and policy of the Act; and

WHEREAS, the Act, the Administrative Rules of Montana, and the Model Rules should be consistently administered by conservation districts.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the 310 Committee be directed to review the Administrative Rules of Montana and the Model 310 Rules and determine whether the adoption of an administrative rule and/or model rule to more clearly define the term “natural, perennial-flowing stream,” and to define the terms “perennial-flowing stream,” “intermittent-flowing stream,” and “ephemeral-flowing stream” would help the conservation districts in the administration of the 310 Law, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, if a proposed rule is developed by the 310 Committee, that a conservation district’s 310 jurisdiction be clarified to include a stream from source to mouth if the stream channel carries water year round in all or portions of the stream’s length.

Submitted by:   Broadwater CD

Area Meeting Action:    Passed Area VI

MACD Committee Assignment:  Water Resources  

General Session Action:  Passed

UPDATES to this Resolution:


Resolution 12-05

MONTANA BASELINE WATER CONDITIONS

WHEREAS, water benefits all of Montana, including rural and urban domestic use, livestock and irrigation, commercial and industrial, recreation, fish and wildlife and aesthetic values; and

WHEREAS, the value of water is the foundation of Montana’s economy; and

WHEREAS, competition for clean water in Montana has been rapidly increasing as a result of coal, oil and gas production; and

WHEREAS, baseline data is critical to identifying existing quality and quantity conditions; and

WHEREAS, water quality monitoring activities and the availability of comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information obtained through monitoring programs will be the key to sound, future management of Montana’s increasingly precious water resources;

WHEREAS, there is a statewide network of wells that is already used for other purposes for county, state or local government entities;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts aggressively pursues a baseline water monitoring program through private, state, and federal resources to allow Montanan’s to make water decisions and understand current conditions.

Submitted by:  Lewis & Clark CD

Area Meeting Action:    Passed Area III, Area VI

MACD Committee Assignment:   Water Resources  

General Session Action:  

UPDATES to this Resolution:


Resolution 12-06

ZERO NET GROWTH OF PUBLIC LANDS

WHEREAS, private agricultural lands in Montana are among the most valuable assets of the state;

WHEREAS, private agricultural lands help to sustain the economic viability of agriculture in Montana;

WHEREAS, agriculture provides a major foundation of rural Montana counties’ tax base;

WHEREAS, agriculture producers depending on the land have traditionally been the best care-takers of the land;

WHEREAS, land management approaches on public lands often are neglected,

WHEREAS, weed infestations and wildlife managed on public lands spread to surrounding private land having negative impacts;

WHEREAS, funding, staff, and overall importance placed on maintenance of public lands seems to be lacking;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts supports zero net growth of public lands in Montana.

Submitted by:  Meagher County CD

Area Meeting Action:   Passed Area VI

MACD Committee Assignment:   Soil Resource & Land Use

General Session Action: Passed

UPDATES to this Resolution:

 


Resolution 12-07

ENCOURAGE NRCS TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR MONTANA RANGE DAYS

WHEREAS, Montana Range Days is the most significant youth range education events in the State of Montana, and other important natural resource educational events take place throughout the State;

WHEREAS, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Range and Soil Conservationists play a significant role in the development and implementation of the curriculum and program for Montana Range Days and other natural resource outreach and education events;

WHEREAS, budget shortfalls have placed significant constraints on NRCS personnel for outreach support;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, NRCS State Conservationist and her staff are encouraged to continue their technical support to all natural resource outreach and educational events to the fullest extent possible;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, MACD Board of Directors work with the NRCS State Conservationist and staff to ensure that adequate support is available for NRCS to continue to assist with Montana Range Days and all other natural resource educational activities and outreach events.   

Submitted by:  Ruby Valley CD

Area Meeting Action:    Area VI

MACD Committee Assignment:   Education

General Session Action:  Passed

UPDATES to this Resolution: