16-01: Support for Conservation District Water Reservations

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts will oppose any efforts to revoke or reduce the flow rates and volumes of any and all Water Reservations held by Conservation Districts.

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15-01: Clarification and coordination of 310 and floodplain permitting

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) work with DNRC to develop an amendment to the floodplain rules allowing an exemption from engineering requirements for such stabilization projects.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MACD work with DNRC to provide outreach to floodplain administrators and conservation districts about the appropriate timing of the permitting process.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MACD work with DNRC to find solutions to the engineering requirements and permitting delays.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, if deemed necessary, MACD pursue legislative action to change floodplain statutes to address these concerns.

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13–09: Invasive Species Advisory Council

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that MACD supports the formation of an Invasive Species Advisory Council attached to the Governor’s office. This would more closely align Montana’s invasive species management efforts with surrounding states such as Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and improve coordination among private, state, and federal stakeholders.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Invasive Species Advisory Council be comprised of members representing a cross-section of Montana agricultural, environmental, governmental, and business interests.

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13–08: CBMPA Scope Expansion

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts approach the next Montana Legislature to request expanding the existing CBMPA law to include development of baseline and long-term monitoring data for all natural energy resources that impact water quality and quantity.

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13–07: Legal Clarification of Reserved Water Rights

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) shall encourage, through contact and monitoring feedback reports, the Montana Department of Natural Resources to adhere to Section 89-8-107 of the Act, and Section 85-2-316(8)(a) M.C.A. and assist conservation districts in their efforts to promote beneficial use of Montana’s waters by allowing use of conservation district reserved water to be exempt from the DNRC change process if:

1) The source was identified on the original reserved water application;

2) The original public notice of the CD reflects correct information of proposed use;

3) The place of use, township, and range are listed on the original reserved water

application;

4) The proposed use does not exceed 10.0 cfs or 1,000 ac/ft per year; and

5) The purpose is for agricultural irrigation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts working jointly with DNRC to adhere to M.C.A. 85-2-316(8)(a) to approach the Montana legislature to provide sufficient funding and staff to timely process approved conservation district reserved water applications.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Montana Association of Conservation Districts seek legal clarification that a conservation district reserved water right is a conditional water right protected by law as is a permit to appropriate water, and as such is not subject to the same requirements of a new water right permit application.

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12-05: Montana Baseline Water Conditions

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts aggressively pursues a baseline water monitoring program through private, state, and federal resources to allow Montanan’s to make water decisions and understand current conditions.

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12-04: Clarification of 310 Jurisdiction on Perennial-flowing Streams

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the 310 Committee be directed to review the Administrative Rules of Montana and the Model 310 Rules and determine whether the adoption of an administrative rule and/or model rule to more clearly define the term “natural, perennial-flowing stream,” and to define the terms “perennial-flowing stream,” “intermittent-flowing stream,” and “ephemeral-flowing stream” would help the conservation districts in the administration of the 310 Law, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, if a proposed rule is developed by the 310 Committee, that a conservation district’s 310 jurisdiction be clarified to include a stream from source to mouth if the stream channel carries water year round in all or portions of the stream’s length.

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11-04: US Fish and Wildlife Service Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Reservoir Removal Plan

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Conservation Districts of Montana oppose the removal of any reservoirs on the US Fish and Wildlife Service Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.

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11-01: Adopting Guidelines to Develop Near Streams, Waterways, Tributaries, & Drainage Areas

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:  That MACD convene a working group consisting of DEQ, Board of Oil & Gas, DNRC, the Montana Petroleum Association and other identified parties to consider options to regulate the development of oil & gas industrial sites located near streams, water ways, tributaries, and drainage areas before permitting occurs.

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10-05: Water Reservations & Change of Use

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Montana Association of Conservation Districts encourage the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to assist conservation districts in their efforts to promote beneficial use of Montana’s waters by supporting legislation allowing use of conservation district reserved water under approved development plans by exempting proposed projects from the change in appropriation process under Title 85, chapter 2, part 4, Mont. Code Ann., where:

1) The source is identified on the original reserved water application;

2) The original public notice reflects correct information of proposed use;

3) All or any portion of the proposed place of use is located in any township, range, of the originally designated project boundary as defined in the original plan. ;

4) The proposed use does not exceed 10.0 cubic feet per second or 1,000 acre feet per year; and

5) The purpose is for agricultural irrigation.

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10-02: Water Reservation for Other than Agriculture Uses

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts encourages the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to assist conservation districts in their efforts to promote beneficial use of Montana’s waters through the change in appropriation right process to allow use of conservation district reserved water for purposes other than agriculture.

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09-08: Montana Monitoring Funding

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts aggressively pursues additional funding to support existing Montana USGS gauging stations and additional funding for the expansion of the Montana monitoring program.

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09-05: Supporting Off-Stream Water Storage

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the MACD will support and encourage Districts in any possible off-stream storage projects in this area.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the MACD will do all in its power to encourage state agencies and state government to help with funding of such projects.

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09-02: Opposition to S.787, Clean Water Restoration Act

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Clean Water Act will remain as is with the term Navigable waters.

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08-09: Revising the Cooperative Watershed Management Act of 2008, Senate Bill 3085, As Proposed by Senator Jon Tester

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts is directed to work with the necessary entities to:

Revise the bill to require that the program is administered in close cooperation with state Conservation District associations to ensure that rural western states, such as Montana, are equally represented.  
Expand the scope of the CWMA to include the array of natural resource issues that CDs and watershed groups are grappling with throughout Montana and the arid west.
Provide recognition of existing organizational structures including Conservation Districts, and CD-support organizations such as MACD and CARDD.  

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