December 2014
Adaptive Managemment Initiative 

In November, the Roundtable selected 15 projects for support by the 2015 Adaptive Management Initiative (AMI) program.  In a very competitive process, these projects were chosen to engage in climate adaptation implementation around the Crown.  A total of $200,000 will be distributed to projects addressing weeds, community education, tribal and first nation engagement, watershed management, water monitoring and much more.  

The AMI is a program of coordinated climate adaptation implementation with monthly webinars, and builds toward sharing lessons at the annual Crown conference in September. Specific projects and webinars presented by project leads will be posted on the Crown Roundtable website next week. You can listen right now to the November webinar entitled "Cross cultural capacity building: Landscape conservation and climate change adaptation with the Blackfeet Nation" presented by Kimbery Paul and Laura Caplins.


The current round of projects for 2014 winds up this month, and final reports will appear on the website shortly. Meantime, you can click here for a midterm progress report briefing. For a visual of project locations, check this link.  To join in on upcoming AMI webinars or learn more about the Adaptive Management Initiative, contact AMI coordinator, Melly Reuling.

Dear Friends,                                                   December 8, 2014

 

As we bundle up for winter, it's a time to reflect on the many activities and accomplishments that engage folks in the Crown of the Continent. It's also a time to thank you for the part you play, and to ask you to share your ideasfor the coming year in this monthly newsletter and at the 2015 conference. 
 
The 6th annual conference is set for September 16-18 at the University of Montana in Missoula. Please watch for a short survey in January where you can provide more suggestions for next year's conference themes. If you missed it last month, here's the 2014 Conference Summary.
 
In this newsletter, we've started a new monthly feature, below--a short profile of a member of the Crown of the Continent community. This month, we're excited to tell you more about Carolan Coughlin and her work with Montana Conservation Corps. You'll also learn about the 2015 Adaptive Management Initiative projects and selected Crown-wide events and news stories at the links below. 

 

Your new stories and updates are the heart of this monthly newsletter. You can submit them here for inclusion in the January edition. Meantime, enjoy as you work, collaborate and explore in the Crown of the Continent.
_____ 

Profile: New Leaders Care for Land

Carolan Coughlin with her field crew in the Crown.

Sore muscles, long hours, deep sleep, and an extraordinary sense of accomplishment. These are aspects of a job loved by Carolan Coughlin, Field Project Coordinator for the Northern Rockies Region of the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC). Headquartered in Whitefish, Carolan trains and coordinates qualified seasonal crews who build fences, carve new trails, restore landscapes and assist in complex land management projects in coordination with agencies across the Crown of the Continent.

 

The mission of MCC is to empower young adults through hands-on conservation service and education. "We're doing a good job, because we meet that mission," says Coughlin. Working on physically rigorous projects over several months at a time is a tough assignment, which Coughlin says ultimately builds strong young leaders who want to serve their communities. "It's hard not to fall in love with this landscape and the surrounding communities, and then to give back."

 

Coughlin was inspired to follow this path as a student in the University of Montana's Wild Rockies Field Institute. There, as a senior in college, she gained backcountry skills, conflict management insights, and leadership training that she now accesses every day with her talented teams.  Though the backdrop is stunning, the work is not without occasional interpersonal conflict among crew members, or politically charged opinions from the public about where fences should lie or mountain bike trails built. But, in the end, outcomes far surpass issues . . . and everyone learns.

 

It's not surprising that Carolan's favorite place to visit in the Crown is the Bob Marshall Wilderness, a place where she and her crews have already spent countless weeks. "The vast wildness and history of what we've done there always draw us back."

 

For more information about the Montana Conservation Corps, visit mtcorps.org.


Friends of the Crown
Friends of the Crown is an informal network of people and organizations that support the Statement of Values and Principles. Become a Friend of the Crown and join a network of organizations and individuals working to enhance it here.


Roundtable Leadership Team:
 
Clayton Matt
Culture Co-Chair, 
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes 
 
Stephen Legault 
Conservation Co-Chair, 
Crown of the Continent Conservation Initiative
 
Mike Bruised Head
Blood Tribe

Jean Curtiss
Missouia County Commissioner

Ian Dyson 
Crown Managers Partnership,
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development 
 
Shannon Frank 
Oldman Watershed Council 
 
Heather Leschied
Wildsight
 
Maria Mantis
Swan Ecosystem Center 
 
Matthew McKinney
Roundtable Co-Director,
Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy
 
Sheena Pate
Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council 
 
Alan Rollo
Sun River & Teton River Watershed Groups
 
Erin Sexton
Crown Managers Partnership, 
The University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station 
 
John T. Shannon 
U.S. Forest Service Regions 1 & 4 
 
Jim Stone
Blackfoot Challenge
 
Gary Tabor
Roundtable Co-Director, 
Center for Large Landscape Conservation
 
Paul Travis
Flathead Land Trust 
 
Melissa Weatherwax
Blackfeet Nation
Roundtable Support Team:
 
Mary Sexton, Coordinator
 
Susan Higgins, Communications
Shawn Johnson, Policy
Melly Reuling, Adaptive Management
Carole Stark, Capacity Building
Lea Whitford, Tribal Liaison
Sam Williams, Intern
Neighborhood News
Controversial logging project near Crowsnest goes ahead.
A controversial plan to log near Star Creek in southwestern Alberta is taking a major step forward, prompting residents to raise concerns about both the stream - home to the threatened westslope cutthroat - and the landscape around it. Calgary Herald, November 27

Conservancy launches 2015 Glacier Champions Campaign. The Glacier National Park Conservancy is kicking off a seven-week Glacier Champions campaign to raise additional money for 2015 projects in Glacier National Park. Daily Interlake, November 12.

Bull trout, lawsuits, compact negotiation leave much uncertain for irrigation project.  A re-evaluation of protected bull trout habitat, litigation, and ongoing negotiations of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Water Compact will have a significant impact on the operation of the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project. Valley Journal, November 26. Related story about the compact Commission talks:  The Missoulian, December 1
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This section features stories and updates from people and groups working around the Crown. If you didn't get a chance to speak at the 2014 conference or weren't able to attend, it's not to late to share -- Submit your story today
Updates and stories will be included on a first come, first serve basis.
Regional News 
Montana delegation crafts lands bill package.Montana may gain some new wilderness after more than 30 years. Bozeman Daily Chronicle, December 3.

Elk Valley water quality plan welcomed. The plan addresses water quality reduction and diminished health of fish and biodiversity in the Elk River as the result of coal mining. Kootenai News, November 23

Alberta wolf cull stabilizes caribou numbers, but just buys time: study. New research shows that killing hundreds of wolves has barely managed to stabilize the numbers of a threatened Alberta caribou herd in a region increasingly impacted by industry. Canadian Press, November 23

Climate change threatens to strip the identity of Glacier National Park.  
A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys. Today, perhaps 25 survive. In 30 years, there may be none. New York Times, November 22.

Western Montana's sub-zero temperatures still won't be enough to control its pine bark beetle epidemic. 
Pine beetles stick around during polar vortex. Montana Kaimin, November 18.

Concerns renewed as B.C. coal mining pollutants increase in Montana watershed. As new mines are proposed in the region, scrutiny intensifies. Flathead Beacon, November 17

Groups want return of wild buffalo. Today there are about 20,000 wild buffalo, but a multi-nation treaty signed by Canadian and U.S. Indian bands last month affirms First Nations' desire to restore free-range buffalo to reserves under native control. Western Producer, October 30.
Beyond The Region 
21 Indian reservations joining buyback program. 
The federal government is doubling the number of American Indian communities involved in a $1.9 billion tribal lands consolidation program. Great Falls Tribune, November 20

Alberta, Ottawa press Central Canada on west-east pipeline. The Alberta and federal governments are planning a new push to persuade skeptics in Central Canada that a proposed $12-billion oil pipeline will deliver them more benefits than it will pose risks. The Globe and Mail, November 24.
Publications and Resources
     Announcing a new publication of the Whitefish Lake Institute.            View it here

     Listen to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes'  
     Climate Change Oversight webinar by Mike Durglo here.

     And, see the many links to updates at the bottom of this page.
Announcements
JOB: The Nature Conservancy is hiring a Freshwater Conservation Manager in Montana. Applications due December 23. 

 

GNLCC Webinar, December 10:  Benefits of watershed restoration in the face of climate change: A toolbox for managers on the impacts of road systems. Register here.

 

Environmental Solutions for Communities offer grants

for projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Proposals are due on December 15, 2014. Find more in the RFP and guidelines.  

 

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 

seeks to develop nation-wide (US) community stewardship of local natural resources, preserving these resources for future generations and enhancing habitat for local wildlife. Applications due February 3

Montana Watershed Coordination Council announces Building Capacity for Successful Community-based Conservation, a workshop for people who work on community-based conservation in the High Divide and Southern Crown of the Continent slated for February 4-6, in Dillon Montana. Learn more here.

2015 Crown Managers Partnership Forum will be held on March 17-19, 2015 in Lethbridge, AB at the Lethbridge Lodge. To learn more about the work of the CMP, visit crownmanagers.org.

The National Adaptation Forum is scheduled for
May 12-14, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. Registration is now open, with Early Bird registration ending February 28. For more information, visit the NAF website.

For more upcoming events, visit these comprehensive calendars:

The Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent provides a monthly newsletter to help connect people and organizations to news and events around the Crown. 
 
If you have an event or news item, an update from your group, or just a great picture to share, please send that information to susan@largelandscapes.org by
January 1, 2015 for inclusion in the January 2015 newsletter.