U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
 
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Rocky Mountain Front
Conservation Strategies

Threats

Currently, there are three primary threats to the Rocky Mountain Front. The most significant threat is habitat fragmentation caused by residential or commercial development and the conversion of native prairie to cropland. Degraded and de-watered stream systems are growing problems. The third major threat is noxious weeds and their ever expanding hold on the landscape.


Conservation Strategies

The Montana Partners For Fish and Wildlife Program is working cooperatively with private landowners along the Rocky Mountain Front on voluntary habitat restoration and habitat protection with conservation easements. Habitat restoration efforts currently focus on wetlands, streams, riparian areas, and native uplands. Projects have included wetland restoration, instream restoration, and riparian restoration through re-vegetation and improved grazing management. Several conservation easements are now in place to perpetually protect wetland and prairie communities. These easements also preserve the traditional ranching lifestyle which is another key component of this conservation strategy.

Riparian restoration photo
Riparian restoration through improved grazing
management.

Instream restoration photo
Instream restoration on Elk Creek.

Although there have been considerable accomplishments within this Focus Area, more work remains to be done. The threats to this sensitive landscape are growing, so restoration and conservation are vitally important.


Future Needs

  • Restore 500 miles of in-stream and riparian habitat.
  • Restore 3,500 acres of wetlands.
  • Restore or enhance 500,000 acres of grasslands.
  • Continue to pursue efforts to control noxious and exotic plants.
  • Focus fisheries restoration efforts on native species.
  • Collaborate with partners on educational workshops.
  • Continue to participate in watershed-level planning and restoration efforts.


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