March 2015
Adaptive Managemment Initiative 

You can now find final summaries of all 14 projects conducted in 2014, and view the Adaptive Management Initiative projects selected for 2015. Simply go to the Crown Roundtable website AMI page. To join in on upcoming AMI webinars, conference calls or learn more about the Adaptive Management Initiative, please contact AMI coordinator, 

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.

Dear Friends,                                                   March 18, 2015

 

NEXT STEPS IN THE CROWN

 

In late February, the Roundtable Leadership team met in the heart of the Crown--Isaac Walton Inn at Essex.  With representatives from tribes, communities, federal/state/provincial agencies, and partner organizations, the group reviewed Roundtable activities and accomplishments over the past six years.  The Roundtable continues to be a network of people focusing on communities, cultures, and conservation of the Crown of the Continent.   Our main activity is the annual Roundtable conference, which celebrates people and places of the Crown. 


As part of the meeting, the Leadership Team also reviewed challenges and opportunities around the Crown.  From aquatic invasive species, to connectivity issues on highways and the economics of tourism, team members noted much progress has been made, but sharing information and experiences remains an important element in maintaining our large landscape.  The Roundtable provides that connection.


Over the past two years, a small group of people (the Roundtable Support Team) has assisted Roundtable work and particularly the Adaptive Management Initiative (AMI).  As that project winds down, the Leadership Team determined that the Roundtable will continue to provide networking opportunities.  The Team outlined a transition plan for the next eight months.  Elements of the plan include designating a coordinator for the Roundtable, a fund-raising plan, and continued focus on the annual conference. 


Watch future Roundtable newsletters for more information on next steps!

 

2015 CROWN CONFERENCE

 

A super planning team is in place for the 2015 conference and busy creating an exciting and highly informative meeting for you. The conference theme is "New Ideas and Enduring Values: The Next Generation of Leadership in the Crown". The event is slated for September 16-18, 2015 in Missoula.  Details to follow in the April newsletter; for now, many thanks to our team!:

    • Gary Burnett, Blackfoot Challenge
    • Jean Curtiss, Missoula County
    • Rich Janssen, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
    • Grant Kier, Five Valley Land Trust
    • Pat O'Herren, Missoula County
    • Ellie Rial, Clark Fork Coalition
    • John Shannon, USDA Forest Service
    • Melissa Weatherwax, Blackfeet Community College
Sincerely,

The Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent Leadership 
and Support Teams
__________ 

 

Profile: On the (Rocky Mountain) front lines in the fight against noxious weeds 

 

Backpacking along the Dearborn River in the southern portion of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in 1998, Erin Fairbank realized that she wanted to spend her life in this quiet corner of the world. This vast, pristine landscape called to her, as it has to many of us.

 

It has been over 15 years since that trip and Erin, now the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Front Weed Roundtable (RMFWR), has since made a life here. As the sole staff member of the RMFWR, it falls to Erin to coordinate the various activities of the organization, which range from planning community weed-pulling events to ensuring collaboration in weed management across the Front. 

 

Photo credit: Sue McNeal (USFWS)

Erin Fairbank (right) and RMFWR Board Member CoCo Boggs releasing knapweed root-boring weevils (Cyphocleonus achates) on the Blackfeet Reservation near Babb, MT. 

 

We are lucky, she says, that approximately 90% of the 3-million acre Rocky Mountain Front is currently weed free. This eastern portion of the Crown of the Continent remains a stronghold for biodiversity and intact wildlife habitats. Trained as a wildlife biologist, Erin has since shifted her focus to invasive weeds and now sees them as the lynchpin in conservation, conceding that, "you can't conserve anything if weeds take over." That's because weeds do more than change the look of the land; they degrade and disrupt wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling, waterways, and more. And the threat of infestation is one that may grow over time along the Front, as climactic change and increased human uses affect the region.

 

To face these threats, the RMFWR, a 3-time Roundtable Adaptive Management Initiative grant recipient, is looking for landscape-scale solutions. Besides strategically uniting managers in the region, the group is also hoping to expand the use of geospatial data. RMFWR maintains an extensive database of noxious weed infestations, treatment, and biocontrol. However, given the pernicious nature of weeds, the organization eventually hopes to unite its data with other groups doing invasive work across the Crown of the Continent. Such an integrated analysis would provide a foundation for truly landscape level strategic planning and weed management.

 

Erin also mentions that it is not just the land that makes the region special. It's the inspiring community of engaged managers, landowners, and stakeholders who recognize the importance of noxious weed management. They are the ones who are willing to put in the time and effort to make integrated landscape-scale weed management possible. 



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 
 
Jeff Mow
Glacier National Park

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
 
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
1. Pablo Man appointed to Montana Governor's Invasive Species Advisory Council. The Valley Journal, March 4

2. New Piikani Chief and Council. Pincher Creek Echo, January 16

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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 todayUpdates and stories will be included on a first come, first serve basis.
Regional News 
1. 17 years of Banff wildlife crossing data deciphered

2. Proposed power line threatens iconic views in southern Alberta. Calgary Herald, March 8

3. Skunk breeding season is upon us - but the critters can live harmoniously with humans.
Edmonton Sun, February 20

4. Montana's recreational, agriculture land sales trend up in 2014. 
The Missoulian, February 21

5. Gr
oup raises concerns about bison reintroduction in Banff National Park. Calgary Herald, March 3 

6. What is nature worth? Studies detail monetary value of Montana's forests and rivers. Helena Independent Record, March 15. 
Beyond The Region 
1. Environment and economy both win under BC's carbon tax: report. Vancouver Observer , February 19.

2. Obama vetoes bill pushing Keystone XL pipeline approvalThe New York Times, February 25

3. Canadian First Nations Seek to Protect Forest HomelandNational Geographic, February 24

4. US Feds predict 10 deadly oil-train derailments per year. The Missoulian, February 22.
Publications and Resources

Practitioners' Network Summary Report for its National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation is available here.

It's Summer Internship season once again! Know any students seeking summer internships? Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has    recently released its list of positions for this summer and Alberta Fish and Wildlife has opportunities as well! Get outside and get experience! 

UM to host Indigenous Summer Studies Institute June 22-July 17. Find more here.

Announcements
BCC presenting Constitutional Reform and Tribal Government as a continuing class that is open to the public. The class is held every Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Room 136 of the Beaver Painted Lodge.

Free college-level online class, April 1- May 1: "Water in the American West" offered by The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado. Register now

 

The 2015 Alberta Invasive Species Council Conference will be held on March 17 in Lacombe, AB. Click for more information.
 

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.


*NEW* Webinar: Invasive Species Learning Options 
focuses on educational tools that get students out into the field and making a difference in their ecosystems. March 24.

Learn more about Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) field training sessions through the Canadian Rivers Institute.  

Regulated Rivers: Environment, Ecology and Management Conference. May 6-7, Castlegar. 
This conference will provide a cutting-edge opportunity for scientists and managers to share on regulated river environments, processes, and operations. Click for more information.

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.

Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative announces "Thinking Mountains 2015: An Interdisciplinary Mountain Studies Conference", Jasper National Park May 5-8.


 

The 4th International Conference on Forests and Water in a Changing Environment, Kelowna, BC, Canada, July 6-9, 2015. Details here


 
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
April 4, 2015 for inclusion in the April 2015 newsletter.