The Beaverhead Watershed Committee has been participating in the National Drought Resilience Partnership pilot project since 2015, along with several other watershed groups in the Missouri headwaters region. The goal of this project is to enhance community drought resilience through effective collaboration among local stakeholders, and various state and Federal partners. Local stakeholders can provide the best insight into their community’s vulnerabilities to drought so that Federal partners such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can more effectively contribute resources and expertise aimed at minimizing those vulnerabilities.

Here in Beaverhead County, the local economy is tied closely to the well being of our farms, ranches, and fisheries. Given that drought is a common occurrence in southwest Montana, it is critical to minimize its impacts on our livelihoods through proactive planning. While it is difficult to avoid the economic and environmental impacts of drought, it is possible to enhance our ability to recover from those impacts. We can do this by monitoring data that may provide early warning of drought conditions, enhancing our crop and rangelands’ abilities to utilize the water that is available, and protecting key habitat features that help fish survive during low flows and high temperatures. Proactive planning is a far more effective investment of our time, effort, and money than reactive relief measures.


Drought Related Links:

Beaverhead Drought Resiliency Plan 2016

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Drought Management Policies

Montana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Drought Portal

National Weather Service Montana Drought Information Page

National Drought Mitigation Center

National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

National Drought Resilience Partnership in the Upper Missouri Basin

NDMC Drought Risk Atlas

NDMC Drought Impact Reporter

NOAA Climate Impacts Research Consortium

NRCS Montana Drought Information Page

USDA Northern Plains Regional Climate Hub

Western Regional Climate Center Drought Monitoring Page

Government Drought Relief Aid Resource Matrix

Western Governors’ Association Drought Forum

WERA Western Water Resources