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Offering a Vision for Managing the Ruby Watershed

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

The working landscape of the greater Ruby watershed provides open space, clean water, wildlife corridors and habitat, access to wild backcountry, recreation and outdoor traditions, and a multi-generational agricultural heritage we all value. We consider these mountains and valleys our home and our backyard — a place we go with family and friends to work, find outdoor adventure, solitude, and wildlife.

Photo Zack Porter

This alliance was formed in May of 2016 to maintain and enhance the stewardship of working ranches and public lands, and achieve long-term conservation goals in the Ruby Valley. Over the past five years, the RVSA membership has tackled challenging topics such as management of grizzly bears in Montana, policies impacting forest management, water issues including supporting the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes-Montana Water Compact, and river access on private lands.

The group has also spent those years building and strengthening relationships among its membership and recently went through a planning process to develop a strategic vision for the Ruby watershed and specific priorities for the RVSA. After years of extensive conversation, the Ruby Valley Strategic Alliance is excited to release its Ruby Watershed Management Strategy.

Photo GYC/Emmy Reed

This plan offers a vision for managing the Ruby watershed, and we have already started using it to guide our work as an alliance. The document allowed us to identify not only what we value about the Ruby Valley watershed, but also what is threatening its overall health and how we can confront those threats.

Our framework was relatively simple: what do we value about the Ruby landscape, what are the threats to those values, and what actions can the RVSA take to maintain those values or address threats to those values? From those questions, we were able to narrow our focus and identify five areas of engagement where we can work together and find solutions that address threats to our working landscapes, wild public lands, our outdoor way of life, and high-quality recreation. These areas offer us a path towards sustaining our communities, our families, the lands, and the wildlife of the Ruby Valley.

The five areas of engagement are:

· Land conservation & growth

· Water quantity & quality

· Wildlife conflict reduction

· Maintaining wild backcountry

· U.S. Forest Service policy and advocacy

After years of hard work and tough conversations, we’re excited to share this final product with you. As a group, we worked through an intensive process to distill these five strategic and purposefully chosen areas of focus. For more details on these areas of focus, check out the official Ruby Watershed Management Strategy document below.

RVSA Watershed Strategy One Pager
Download PDF • 2.75MB
Photo GYC/Emmy Reed

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