Bridger Plant Materials Center
Serving the States of Montana and Wyoming
Size: 130 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: Conservation Districts in Montana and Wyoming
The Bridger Montana Plant Materials Center (MTPMC) provides plant solutions for conservation issues across the diverse ecosystems of Montana and Wyoming. The service area topography ranges from the mountains in western Montana and Wyoming, to rolling plains, desert basins, and plateaus in the remaining areas of the states. Agriculture, resource extraction, and tourism are the basic industries, and affect most of the land area in Montana and Wyoming. The overall objective of the MTPMC is to select well adapted plant materials and develop improved conservation practice technologies for enhanced natural resource protection.
Plant selection and technology development objectives of the MTPMC include improving rangeland health, enriching soil health with cover crops, enhancing pollinator habitat, increasing woody plant establishment, improving and diversifying native plant communities after disturbance, and enhancing the conservation benefits on critical areas and salt-affected sites. Active areas of research and testing related to these conservation priorities include native species seed source testing, developing establishment technologies for pollinator species, cover crop varietal testing, species selection and increase, revegetation as part of invasive species management, and increasing forage production. MTPMC continually works on developing propagation and production techniques for native species. MTPMC addresses soil quality with projects testing cover crops, revegetation of acid soils, and increasing the productivity of salt-affected sites. In addition, MTPMC provides on-site and webinar training and outreach activities for NRCS staff and partners, the public, and underserved groups.
The MTPMC has selected and released 32 conservation grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees, which are extensively used throughout the northern plains and intermountain West.
Charles T Eckman