pivot Montana Rivers Project
A Win-Win Solution for
All of Montana's Water Users
    The Jefferson River Watershed Committee [JRWC] grew out of concern by local anglers about a decline in fish populations in the Jefferson River and interest among local irrigators in solving ongoing water shortage problems. Realizing that they shared a common interest in the health and vitality of the Jefferson River, a small but diverse group of basin residents met in the spring of 1999 to begin a series of informal discussions about natural resource issues affecting the watershed. The group has quickly evolved into a very dynamic local watershed group. By developing a Drought Management Plan and serving as a forum for communication, JRWC played a key role during the drought of 2000, helping both irrigators and the fishery survive the crisis.

JRWC’s mission statement says,

The Jefferson River Watershed Council is a forum to promote locally based resource management in the Jefferson River watershed. Through a spirit of cooperation and sharing, our mission is to coordinate efforts that will enhance, conserve, and protect the natural resources, the quality of life, and the economic vitality of the area."

JRWC is made up of representatives from local agriculture, conservation, business, recreation, and community interests, as well as representatives from local municipalities and advisors from government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The group seeks to be a positive voice for the effective management and enhancement of the basin’s resources. JRWC operates on a cooperative and consensus basis.

Meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, either at the Twin Bridges school or the USDA Service Center in Whitehall, Montana. All meetings are open to the public. The Jefferson River Watershed Council is currently in the process of hiring a coordinator. If you are interested in applying or would like more information about JRWC meetings, please contact Paul Azevedo at the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, pazevedo@state.mt.us or 406-444-6635.