Protect the waters, natural resources, and environment of Flathead Basin by support the Comission.

Our Mission

To protect the existing high quality of the Flathead Lake aquatic environment; the waters that flow into, out of, or are tributary to the Lake and; the natural resources and environment of the Flathead Basin.

About the Flathead Basin Comission

The Flathead Basin Commission (FBC) was created in 1983 by the Montana Legislature to monitor and protect water quality and the natural resources in one of the State's most important watersheds. The FBC is a uniquely structured non-regulatory organization that works to accomplish its mandate in a consensus-building manner, stressing education, cooperation, broadly based community involvement, partnerships with agencies and nonprofit groups, and the voluntary participation of Basin residents. Consistent with the duties of the Commission as stated in the establishing statute the Commission considers its role in the Basin to:

  • Coordinate water quality protection and monitoring activities
  • Working with our partners, ensure that water quality, economic, land use and natural resource data is gathered, analyzed, interpreted and disseminated to the public and responsible agencies.
  • Facilitate policies and actions that have a positive result on water quality and natural resources.
  • Provide leadership in making the case for Basin water quality and protection of its natural resource.

The twenty-three member Commission represents a cross-section of citizens and local, state, tribal, federal and provincial agency representatives who strive to identify the Basin's water quality and natural resources problems and work collectively to implement the most effective solutions. The Agency members of the Commission are prescribed in statute; the Governor appointed members are selected for four-year staggered terms.

The Flathead Basin Commission has become a model of successful citizen and inter-agency cooperation in a geographically vast and ecologically diverse watershed characterized by its overall pristine character, international dimension, and multi-jurisdictional nature.

Outline of the Flathead Basin in Montana

Enabling Legislation

Flathead Basin Commission 2019/2020 Biennial Report

Water Quality-Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution comes from sources that are difficult to pinpoint and are spread through runoff, precipitation, drainage, atmospheric deposition, or seepage. The water transports natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and aquifers. NPS pollution includes excess fertilizers, pesticides, oil, sediment, salts, as well as bacteria and nutrients from livestock and septic systems. These pollutants have significant harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife in the Flathead watershed. The FBC has prioritized nonpoint source pollution in our two-year work plan, with specific focus on septic leachate and stormwater.

Septic Leachate

The Flathead Basin Commission has created an onsite wastewater treatment committee to address water quality and public health concerns as they relate to septic leachate. Several studies have documented links to failing septic systems on both Flathead and Whitefish Lakes. The Committee is comprised of interested commissioners, partners, and citizens. All meetings are open to the public.

Goals/Objectives of FBC Onsite Wastewater Committee:

Stormwater Projects

The FBC, partnering with the City of Kalispell, initiated a series of projects assessing and addressing stormwater in the basin. We were able to secure an EPA grant and a Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC) member to lead the work. In the first phase of the project, our BSWC member developed a stormwater inventory for the basin, sampled during storm events for pollution, conducted outreach for a rain garden initiative and built a volunteer base for gathering data. See the final report from Phase I of the project here or the summary of Phase I here.

Upcoming Meetings

March 2, 2022
(Hybrid: Kalispell/Virtual)
May 18, 2022
Email to participate.

Biennial Reports


Commission Members & Staff

Rich Janssen, Flathead Basin Commision Chair

Rich Janssen

Casey Lewis, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Casey Lewis
Vice Chair

Kathy Olsen, Montana Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation

Kathy Olsen

Jasmine Courville, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Jasmine Courville Brown

Kurt Steele, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Kurt Steele

Jeff Mow, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Jeff Mow

Jim Simpson, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Jim Simpson

Jack Potter, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Jack Potter

Randy Brodehl, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Randy Brodehl

Lech Naumovich, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Lech Naumovich

Mike Freeman, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Mike Freeman

Brian Hughes, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Brian Hughes

Sandy Beder-Miller, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Sandy Beder-Miller

Steve Stanley, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Steve Stanley

Mark Bostrom, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Mark Bostrom

Myla Kelly, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Myla Kelly

Jim Williams, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Jim Williams

Mark D. Rellar, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Mark D. Reller

Bill Dykes, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Bill Dykes

Peter Brumm, Flathead Basin Commision Member

Peter Brumm

Kate Wilson, Flathead Basin Administrator

Kate Wilson
FBC Administrator

Cassidy Bender, Commission Coordinator Flathead Basin

Cassidy Bender
FBC Coordinator