The Montana Conservationist October 17

Greetings readers! It’s a beautiful fall day in Montana, and we’ve got conservation news coming at you faster than the leaves dropping from the trees.

  • A new study from UC Santa Barbara directly ties public grazing to ranch economic health, and to the health of sage grouse populations. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: what’s good for the herd is good for the bird.
  • An MSU researcher is linking the health of mountain meadows to butterfly populations. Does anyone else think that climbing mountains to look for butterflies sounds like possibly the best job out there?
  • Congress has approved the Water Infrastructure Act, which authorizes more than $6 billion in spending over 10 years for water projects nationwide, and sets up a new framework for Army Corps projects that should increase local input and improve transparency. The proof will be in the dam pudding, as they say.
  • The Montana Ag Network has a great profile on the Ruby Valley Strategic Alliance, a project whose partners include our very own Ruby Valley Conservation District.
  • In the Flathead Valley, the Coram Experimental Forest leads the way in research on silviculture of the western larch, one of Western Montana’s iconic tree species.
  • NRCS is conducting a Cycle Time – Workload Analysis study to see how employees’ time is spent in conservation delivery. Many conservation district employees will be included in the sample study; NACD recommends that CDs participate because it will help quantify how district employees contribute to conservation delivery. Which seems like a lot of words to ask “what did you do at work today?”

All of that, plus a positively overflowing Opportunities section filled with grants, events, and jobs! It’s all in The Montana Conservationist this week: TMC 2018-10-17