The following list provides a brief profile of major regional, Crown-wide, and sub-regionalefforts to promote and support conservation and stewardship in the Crown of the Continent. This inventory is more representative of who is doing what and where, than comprehensive.
Contact the Roundtable staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are aware of additional groups or initiatives that should be added to this inventory.
Click on the pins in the map below for the basic information about the initiatives, or continue scrolling to find a full list.
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1994 - Crown of the Continent Ecosystem Education Consortium
Educators formed the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem Education Consortium (COCEEC, pronounced Co-Seek) to facilitate learning about the Crown of the Continent and it's incredible ecosystem. COCEEC strives to "raise awareness of the Crown's natural and cultural resources, biodiversity, conservation efforts, stewardship opportunities and provide the opportunity for collaborative projects crossing management and geographical boundaries." Projects include: ecosystem-focused curricula, books, maps, and workshops. Learn more.
1999 - University of Montana/University of Calgary Transboundary Program
This program, supported by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, offers student research and internship support, shared courses, and faculty exchange to explore and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to manage environmental issues across domestic and international boundaries. It is coordinated between the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montana and the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary.
2001 - Crown Managers Partnership
The Crown Managers Partnership (CMP) was created in 2001 as an inter-agency forum for about 20 land management agencies in Montana, British Columbia, and Alberta. This voluntary partnership seeks to build common awareness of Crown interests and issues, shape relationships, and identify collaborative and complementary tasks that the various participating jurisdictions can pursue. The Mistakis Institute staffs the CMP. Learn more.
2002 - Crown of the Continent Resource Learning Center
Located in Glacier National Park, the Crown of the Continent Resource Learning Center (CCRLC) provides coordination and information sharing between scientists and land managers. CCRLC projects are carried out through collaboration among government, academia, educational institutions, public interest, and private citizens, all of whom are committed to understanding and preserving the Crown's natural, social, and cultural heritage. The CCRLC has made communicating the impacts of climate change one of the highest priorities. Learn more.
2007 - Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council
This broad-based partnership of local community and business leaders formed as an advisory committee to work with NPCA and National Geographic on the Crown of the Continent MapGuide and interactive website. Today, the Council describes itself as "a regional network of communities, tourism bureaus, conservation and business groups, educators, First Nations, government agencies, and others working together [to provide] information about the Crown of the Continent region for visitors and residents to understand, appreciate, and help preserve its geographic character, including historical, cultural and environmental heritage. Looking forward, the Council intends to pursue cooperative projects that promote regional understanding and appreciation, encourage sustainable businesses, support community well-being, advance landscape stewardship, and provide outstanding visitor experiences." Learn more.
2008 - Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent
The purpose of the Roundtable is to provide a multi-stakeholder forum to exchange ideas, build relationships, identify shared values and interests, and facilitate working relationships. Strategic programs, workshops, and an annual conference are developed by the Leadership Team, which is comprised of representatives from the diverse geographies and interests in the Crown. Learn more.
2009 - Crown of the Continent Conservation Initiative
The Crown of the Continent Conservation Initiative (CCCI) was formed to "articulate and advance a long-term conservation vision for the Crown...while supporting sustainable and vibrant regional communities." CCCI is comprised of many agencies and nonprofits, who work to implement the Conservation Agenda. By sharing resources and coordinating conservation programs, these organizations amplify the scope and scale of conservation in the Crown. Learn more.
2010 - America's Great Outdoors Initiative
America's Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO) was launched by President Obama to "develop a 21st century conservation agenda that will protect America's natural and cultural resources, and connect people to the outdoors through jobs, education, recreation and service." AGO also seeks to improve collaboration - both across federal agencies and with state and local partners. The Crown of the Continent was chosen as one of the five demonstration projects. Learn more.
The Alberta Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development adopted theAlberta Land-use Framework in 2008. The Framework will guide conservation and development efforts throughout the province, including the area associated with the Crown of the Continent. Learn more.
Blood Tribe / Kainai
The Blood Tribe / Kainai and its confederates have had a presence in the region dating back over 10,000 years and "continues to draw strenght of the past as it strives to realize a unique vision for the future." The traditional Blackfoot territory extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Sand Hills, and from North Saskatchewan to Yellowstone. Learn more.
Oldman Watershed Council
The Oldman Watershed Council is a community based organization that partners with individuals working and living in the Oldman Basin to work towards responsible watershed management and a strong local economy. Learn more.
The Piikani Nation has been a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy since 1877 and seeks to provide "quality services that reflect fair and equitable principles that enhance the integrity of the Piikani Nation." Learn more.
Southern Foothills Community Stewardship Initiative
By working with local landowners and community members, the Southern Foothills Community Stewardship Initiative provides "direction to provincial, municipal, and non-governmental organization land use planning and stewardship efforts in order to protect and enhance the integrity of the Foothills landscape of Southwest Alberta." Learn more.
Waterton Park Front Project
Starting with a land purchase in 1997 and expanding in subsequent years, The Nature Conservancy Canada has protected 27,000 acres of land through purchases and conservation easements between Pincher Creek, AB, to Waterton Lakes National Park. These protected lands continue to provide homes and livelihoods for ranchers and farmers, as well as habitat and scenery, comprising the largest private conservation initiative in Canadian history. Learn more.
Montana's Eastside Sub-region
The Blackfoot have always lived on the plains near the Rocky Mountains - Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation are just small pieces of the ancestral territory. Today, the Blackfeet Community College is taking advantage of this long connection to place by interviewing tribal elders and mapping out the change in location and timing of collecting food, medicine, and sacred objects. Learn more.
Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front
Organized in 2006 to oppose federal oil and gas leasing on the Rocky Mountain Front, this local coalition of landowners, sportsmen, and others in 2009 released the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, a proposal for new federally designated wilderness and conservation management areas, as well as measures to control, prevent, and eradicate the spread of noxious weeds. Learn more.
Marias River Watershed Group
The Marias River Watershed Group was formed in 2002 and is comprised of a coalition of seven conservation districts and two reservations working to develop a watershed plan that will sustain the agricultural lifestyle, control the spread of noxious weeds, protect fish and wildlife, enhance water quality/quantity, and restore grazing lands for future generations. Learn more.
Rocky Mountain Front Weed Roundtable
A weed pull almost fifteen years ago brought ranchers, college students, hunters, anglers, hikers, and foresters together and launched a collaborative effort to slow the spread of noxious weeds in the Rocky Mountain Front. The Rocky Mountain Front Weed Roundtable continues to rely on community support to implement strategic weed management and increase the economic, biological, and social health of the Rocky Mountain Front. Learn more.
Sun River Watershed Group
By acting as a consensus-driven, multi-stakeholder entity, the Sun River Watershed Group strives to resolve natural resource issues and to promote efforts to sustain local livelihoods and natural resources. Project objectives include maintaining and/or improving the agricultural economy, controlling noxious weeds, reducing sediment loads into the Sun and Missouri Rivers, improve water quality and quantity, and improve the fisheries. Learn more.
Teton River Watershed Group
Since 1994, the Teton River Watershed Group has been a "collaborative, locally directed group of interested individuals, organizations, and agencies dedicated to the education and to the monitoring, improving, and maintaining the quality of the natural resources within the Teton River basin." Learn more.
Montana's Westside Sub-region
The Blackfoot Challenge wasn’t officially formed until 1993, but the story of landowners working together dates back to the 1970s. Today the Blackfoot Challenge continues to “coordinate efforts that will enhance, conserve and protect the natural resources and rural lifestyle of the Blackfoot Valley for present and future generations” and is nationally recognized as a model for collaboration. Learn more.
Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Project
A local coalition of landowners, loggers, snowmobilers, outfitters, and conservationists crafted a vision document for the Upper Blackfoot Valley in Montana. This evolved into a proposal for federal legislation (now part of Senator Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act under consideration in Congress), which would include stewardship contracting, biomass development, and wilderness designation. Learn more.
Clearwater Resource Council
The Clearwater Resource Council strives to “engage the community and facilitate efforts that will enhance, conserve, sustain, and protect the natural resources and rural lifestyle of the Clearwater Watershed for present and future generations.” Learn more.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are comprised of the Bitterroot Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai tribes. Their ancestral territory ranged from western Montana to parts of Idaho and from British Columbia to Wyoming, but since the Hellgate Treaty in 1855, home is now the Flathead Reservation in western Montana. Currently, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are developing a strategic plan to mitigate the impacts of climate change that is informed by historic adaptations to climate change. Learn more.
Flathead Basin Commission
This international body is made up of 23 members, appointed by various arms of state, provincial, tribal, federal, and local government entities. Created in 1983, the purpose of the commission is to monitor and protect the aquatic resources of Flathead Lake and its tributaries. Not a formal decision-making body, the commission makes informed recommendations to government bodies concerning protection and management of these resources. In recent years, the Commission has provided leadership in developing agreements between the U.S. and Canada to protect the ecological health of the region, including critical wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors. Learn more.
Montana Legacy Project
In 2008, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Montana worked with the Trust for Public Land and others to sign and agreement to purchase 310,000 acres from Plum Creek Timber. Much of the land is in the Seeley-Swan Valley, but the project reaches far beyond that valley to include lands between Libby and Yaak and other areas. As of 2009, TNC had purchased 240,000 acres, which will be conveyed to community, state, and national forest ownership for sustainable timber harvest, wildlife habitat, and public recreation access. The final portion is due to be purchased in 2010. Learn more.
Northwest Connections, based in the Swan Valley, seeks to "integrate science, education, and community in the conservation of rural working landscapes" by partnering with and employing local community members. Learn more.
Southwestern Crown Collaborative
The Southwestern Crown Collaborative is a partnership of diverse organizations and agencies with a shared commitment to "the vision of a sustainable Southwestern Crown landscape that provides for the full array of ecosystem services and economic and social benefits." Learn more.
Swan Ecosystem Center
The Swan Ecosystem Center is led by a committee comprised of residents, agencies, and organizations in the Swan Valley. Through biannual meetings, the committee is developing a Watershed Restoration Plan that will focus on conservation strategies, forest stewardship, native fish, water quality, wetlands, and wildlife. Learn more.
British Columbia Sub-region
Castle Special Place Citizen's Initiative
This broad-based, citizen-led initiative, which began in 2007, recently completed a proposal to protect this area north of Waterton Lakes National Park, currently being considered by the Alberta government. Learn more.
Kootenay Conservation Program
The East Kootenay Conservation Program brings over 50 partners representing conservation and agricultural organizations, forestry, business, education, First Nations, and all levels of government in order to "maintain and restore the rich biological, economic, and social heritage of the Kootenays." Learn more.
The Ktunaxa Nation is striving to "achieve strong, healthy citizens and communities, speaking our languages and celebrating who we are and our history in our ancestral homelands, working together, managing our lands and resources, as a self-sufficient, self-governing Nation." Learn more.
Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation on Environmental Protection, Climate Action and Energy
In 2010, BC and Montana signed a Memorandum of Understanding that, according to BC Lt. Governor Steven Point, represents "A new partnership with Montana [to] sustain the environmental values in the Flathead River Basin in a manner consistent with current forestry, recreation, guide outfitting and trapping uses." Under the Memorandum, British Columbia and Montana agree to work together, and in partnership with federal governments, Ktunaxa Nation and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, local governments, and other community interests. The memorandum covers three components - environmental protection, climate action and renewable and low-carbon energy. Learn more.
World Heritage Site Assessment
In 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park was combined with the Glacier National Park to form the world's first International Peace Park. In 1995, the United Nations recognized the parks' unique ecological qualities by designating the pair as a World Heritage Site, noting the area's spectacular natural resources, including its diversity of wildlife and its role as a "biological crossroads." In 2009, responding to a petition from 11 U.S. and Canadian conservation groups concerned with the threats to the parks posed by proposed energy and mineral development, the World Heritage Committee has sent a mission to the parks to assess the threats, consult with stakeholders and prepare recommendations. Learn more.
The Crown in Context: Larger Regional Initiatives
More information about larger regional or adjacent collaborative initiatives may be found on the Rocky Mountain Partner Forum (RMPF) website. The RMPF is an initiative of the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative
The Crown of the Continent comprises a portion of the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC), an initiative that spans from Wyoming to Yukon, and from the Columbia Plateau to the Rocky Mountain Front. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives were launched by then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as a way to create a "legacy of land, water, and wildlife conservation and sustainable natural resource management through collaboration and coordination" that transcends jurisdictional boundaries. Learn more about GNLCC. Learn more about Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.
Heart of the Rockies Initiative
The Heart of the Rockies Initiative is a collaboration of land trusts and conservancies who work with willing private landowners to conserve priority properties that help retain our natural heritage and vibrant communities in the Crown of the Continent region, as well as the High Divide and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Learn more.
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) includes and extends beyond the Crown of the Continent in its work to protect wildlife core areas and corridors across a 500,000-square-mile landscape. Y2Y began as a network of biologists and conservationists who were concerned about populations of wildlife "blinking out," generally on a northward trend. While Y2Y focuses on wildlife corridors and connectivity, it works closely with private landowners, community leaders, and others to address a range of issues related to land use, community and economic prosperity, and wildlife management. And, while it operates as a not-for-profit organization, it relies heavily on partnerships with diverse stakeholders to achieve its objectives. Learn more.
The University of Montana Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative
Led by the Department of Geography at the University of Montana, this initiative was publicly launched in 2009 and includes research coordination at UM, educational outreach, and publication of an e-magazine and e-notes with updates about activities related to the Crown and the Greater Yellowstone region. Learn more.