The Governor's Task Force for Riparian Protection, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Montana Association of Conservation Districts have teamed up to listen to Montanans about steps they have used and developed to care for riparian areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency has provided a grant to sponsor 14 listening sessions across Montana. During 2010 there will be formal listening sessions in Hamilton, Dillon, Glendive, Havre, Sidney, Miles City, Butte, Lewistown, Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, and Helena.
In addition, the grant will allow for research to learn about the “Best of the West” regarding the protection of riparian areas.
The information gathered from these projects will be made available to watershed groups, conservation districts, real estate agencies, transportation officials, farmers, ranchers, homeowners, recreationists, builders, municipalities, and others who use, own or manage land near or on Montana’s waterways.
Look in your local papers for news about the listening session near you or go to macdnet.org for a complete listening session schedule.
Long-time Montanans and newcomers alike are attracted to the state's
unspoiled outdoor recreation opportunities.
Room to Roam Presentations
The Governor's Task Force for Riparian Protection has given "Room to Roam" PowerPoint presentations nineteen times across Montana in 2008 and 2009.
To inquire about scheduling a "Room to Roam" presentation in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New Home Builder's Guide to Responsible Development Near Rivers, Streams and Wetlands
Enjoyment of your new Montana home depends
on the future health of Montana’s fish, wildlife, and natural areas.
Montana’s fastest growth
is in rural places near rivers, lakes, and forests.
Today, people like you want to live near
water, and areas nearest to Montana’s rivers, streams, and lakes are among the most popular
rural development sites in Montana.
Rivers, streams, and wetlands makeup less than five percent
of Montana's landscape, yet contain 75 percent of the state's plant and animal diversity.
Bank erosion, flooding, introduction of pollutants, and loss of critical
habitat are all effects caused by building too closely to water's edge.
It makes sense to protect the natural values that you
want to enjoy as you consider your new home site.
Healthy riparian areas with native vegetation (“riparian buffers”) protect your water, your privacy, your budget, and the natural landscapes that harbor
the fish and wildlife everyone enjoys.
Healthy riparian areas with native vegetation reduce property damage and downstream flooding
by allowing streams to overflow onto their natural floodplains.
Native vegetation next to streams filters and traps pollutants, and helps to maintain Montana’s water
Native vegetation next to streams protects against erosion
by slowing runoff and stabilizing stream banks.
Riparian areas provide home for Montana’s
fish and wildlife. Native vegetation provides protect fish and wildlife cover and provide shade that cools the
Riparian buffers increase property values and provide economic
benefits by reducing the need to combat flooding, repair eroding stream banks, and replace
Montana's stream access law offers everyone the ability to
enjoy Montana's waterways. Native vegetation provides homeowners privacy from anglers and floaters
while protecting our traditional relationship with Montana's natural resources that makes Montana
such an attractive place to live, work, visit, and play.
What can you do?
Constructing your home with a riparian buffer helps maintain a natural
setting, and provides a place for fish, wildlife, and vegetation to thrive.
Remember, riparian areas provide you with personal assets that are economical, efficient,
on higher ground, outside of the floodplain, and back from streams and wetlands.
streamside and wetland areas intact.
dig, cut native vegetation, or build within 300 feet of streamside or wetland areas.
water rapidly runs off hard surfaces, so keep things like driveways, concrete patios, and rooftops
to a minimum and direct runoff away from riparian and wetland areas.
septic systems outside riparian areas and the flood plain.
your local watershed group or contact Montana’s Watershed Coordination Council.
apply fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides near a stream, lake, or wetland.
your county commissioners to include measures to protect riparian areas in the growth policy and land use regulations. Several communities in Montana require setbacks for buildings and vegetated riparian buffers for new development.
this information about the importance of riparian buffers to your neighbors, your builder,
your real estate agent, and others.
you already live near a stream or river, consider improving your property with native landscaping
to provide a buffer between your home and the stream.