Montana Governor Bullock Announces National Drought Resilience Demonstration Project
HELENA, Mont., July 16, 2014 – Governor Steve Bullock today announced a new effort to improve long-term drought resilience in Montana through a partnership involving local, state and federal agencies.
“I’m pleased that we are partnering with the Drought Resilience Partnership to host a demonstration project in Montana,” Bullock said. “We’ve been recognized for some time as a leader in proactively addressing drought through planning and mitigation strategies derived from folks on the ground. This demonstration project will add the resources of seven federal agencies to support watershed groups and communities already working to manage the impacts of drought.”
Announced by the White House in November of 2013, the National Drought Resilience Partnership includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Assistant Secretary for the Army Civil Works (ASA-CW), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE).
Bullock said the demonstration project will focus on the Upper Missouri River Basin above Fort Peck Reservoir, a region where several federal agencies are already working with local communities to improve drought resilience.
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) will serve as lead state agency for the partnership. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Fish Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and the Montana Department of Agriculture will also participate.
“Federal agencies will partner with DNRC as well as other state agencies to engage with communities and water users,” said Bullock. “The deliverables to come out of this effort will be developed at the local level.”
Bullock said some of the possible actions could include better measurement and analysis of water, snowpack and soil moisture data; resources to assist watershed groups in the development and implementation of watershed drought plans, including funding for Big Sky Watershed Corps AmeriCorps members; and resources that help water users, farmers and irrigation districts measure and conserve water, enhance soil health, and complete other “on the ground” projects as part of a watershed drought plan.
For more information, visit www.drought.gov.