Strategic Plan



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.


The Flathead Basin Commission, working with our communities and stakeholders, is leading efforts to improve and protect water quality and the natural resources in the Flathead Basin and is realizing measurable results.


The Flathead Basin Commission uses duties, goals and issues to establish and prioritize work objectives.  Duties are mandated in the enabling legislation establishing the Flathead Basin Commission.  Goals are described in terms of measurable accomplishments derived from the mandated duties to be achieved at specific times in the future.  Issues are described as concerns that the Flathead Basin Commission plans to address.


(1)   to submit to the governor and, as provided in 5-11-210, to the legislature a biennial report that includes:
     (a) a summary of information gathered in fulfillment of its duties under this section;
     (b) information on monitoring activities within the Flathead basin concerning the condition of the basin's natural resources, with particular emphasis on Flathead Lake;
     (c) the identification of land use and land development trends in the Flathead basin;
     (d) any recommendations the commission considers appropriate for fulfillment of its duties and for continued preservation of the Flathead basin in the present high quality of its aquatic resources; and
     (e) an accounting of all money received and expended, by source and purpose, for the period since the last report;  

(2)  to meet at least semiannually within the Flathead basin, alternating the meeting site between the cities of Kalispell and Polson; and

(3) to achieve the duties described in the FBCs enabling legislation 75-7-304.



1)      Continue efforts to prevent and contain Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), focusing on zebra and quagga mussels, and invasive aquatic plants.

2)      Continue efforts to work cooperatively with Canadian and American partners to protect the headwaters of the Flathead River.

3)      Partner with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, governmental and other stakeholders to facilitate the development and/or strengthening of pro-active prevention and emergency response plans related to the transport of hazardous materials via rail.

4)      Undertake targeted monitoring efforts based upon programmatic needs.  To the extent possible, support monitoring efforts currently in place, including the collaborative surface water monitoring plan, groundwater monitoring efforts and the volunteer monitoring program for the purpose of understanding long-term water quality trends in the basin.

5)      Continue addressing issues and policies relating to growth and development in the Basin that affect water quality and other long-term natural and economic interests.

6)      Promote civil discourse and factual, objective discussion of the issues with which we engage both inside the Commission and with the other agencies and organizations with whom we interact, and to be known as a source of accurate information about those issues.

7)      Foster co-operative work with and among other agencies and organizations in the Flathead and to build coalitions where possible to further the objectives of the FBC.

8)      Develop ways to improve capacity and increase the effectiveness of the Flathead Basin Commission, including but not limited to the provision of adequate funding and staffing.

9)      Address other issues and opportunities that are of importance to the Basin as a whole and where the FBC has a clear and unique capacity to make a positive contribution, as FBC time and resources permit. 

10)  Foster voluntary efforts to improve water quality in the basin, including but not limited      to wastewater management, education and outreach and AIS-based efforts.

11)  Work with federal, state, tribal and local government to address landscape level impacts associated with climate change, by facilitating adaptive management efforts, including but not limited to drought planning.

Read the complete plan by clicking on the link under PDF documents to the right.

The Flathead Basin Commission, Protecting water quality since 1983


Downloadable Files



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Caryn Miske Executive Director
Flathead Basin Commission
655 Timberwolf Parkway
Kalispell Montana 59901
406-240-3453 e-mail: cmiske@mt.gov


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