The Marias River Watershed was formed in 2002 due to an increased interest in our natural resources and the requirements set forth by the Clean Water Act of 1972.
There are seven conservation districts – Glacier, Toole, Liberty, Hill, Pondera, Chouteau, and Big Sandy, plus two Indian reservations– the Blackfeet and Rocky Boy, that have taken a proactive approach in processing a watershed plan for the Marias River drainage.
The watershed has divided into 5 regions in order to more easily manage the resources and conservation issues. Meet the Regional Directors.
The Marias River Watershed encompasses 3.3 million acres of land in the heart of the Golden Triangle, of which more than 91% is in private ownership. Watershed residents rely on the Marias River for drinking water, crop irrigation, livestock watering, recreation and fish habitat.
The mission of the Marias River Watershed is based on the following four interwoven commitments:
Lifestyle: to provide support for and to preserve the independent way of life known as “ranching and/or farming” and to help educate the general public about the necessity of said activities as they relate to the economic health of the watershed and the state.
Resources: To become educated about and to put into effect, the practical means of preserving and improving the resources of the watershed; to protect the water quality, grazing lands, riparian habitat and fish and wildlife habitat; and to promote sound and efficient use of the water both in streams and from underground sources. The overall goal is to maintain the resources of the Watershed for both present and future generations.
Weeds: To seek and use an integrated approach to control the spread of noxious weeds consistent with improving the land and the range.
Fish and Wildlife: To promote sound game and fish management that will ensure the existence of sustainable numbers of game birds, game animals, game fish and other native species and try to maintain them in balance with the habitat that support these species.