Montana Weed Prevention information

Montana State University established a research and prevention program for invasive plant species in the prairie lands of Montana. The program maintains several Weed Protection Areas (WPA) in Northcentral Montana for data collection, research, and weed control. WPAs serve to keep rangelands in our region free of damaging plant species. For more information on Weed Protection Areas, canine detection methods, invasive plants, and range riders, visit their website by clicking here.  

Youth With a Voice: Engaging Young People in Rural and Small Town Community Development

One of the greatest issues for rural communities is the outmigration of youth. These talented young individuals are leaving their rural hometowns for several different reasons, but a recurring theme of this outmigration is the lack of opportunities for career pathways and social development. This resource from NADO provides research and results of engaging youth in community as well as several examples of successful youth engagment projects.  Visit the NADO website for more information.  

Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition: Vision for Public Rangelands

This work focuses on policy-making based on collaboration between public and private landowners for the conservation of rangeland and grazing land in the Midwest. Used for ranching, recreational activities, and wildlife conservation, the grasslands of the west are highly valuable to both the public and to ranchers. This document provides recommendations for policy that provide satisfactory solutions to communities for both the conservation and use of rangelands.  

Rural Voices for Conservation Coaltion Vision for Public Rangelands

Regional Plan 2015-2035

Northcentral Montana’s regional economy, frontier history, rural environments, and small towns are part of our shared identity. In 2012 and 2013, residents told us that they prefer sustainable development to either a “boom & bust” scenario or continued loss of rural population. Their input guided our planning process, which included governments, organizations, and residents of 11 counties and three reservations. Working together, Vibrant Futures Consortium partners identified common goals and developed best strategies that reflect the needs and desires of communities.

We found that every town has its own economic strategies, and every community contributes to the regional economy. Diverse communities rely on one another for services and consumers. They strive to maintain essential services such as grocery stores and gas stations, to revitalize downtown areas, to attract more businesses, and to improve transportation, infrastructure and housing.

You can download the full Regional Plan, the Regional Plan Summary, the Growth Policy Review and the Report Card which can be used in the planning process for any area.


Creating Competitive Rural and Tribal Communities

This paper highlights the need for collaboration among planning organizations and implementation agencies in the success of economic and community development strategies. The paper also offers insider information on best practices for capacity building in rural communities, with lessons learned and case studies in rural and tribal development. Read the full paper for more in-depth details. 

Creating Competitive Rural and Tribal Communities