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Montana Natural Heritage Program Announcements


Check here for the latest news, information, and announcements about new services at the Montana Natural Heritage Program.

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Monday, April 21, 2014Program Botanist

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is recruiting for a program Botanist. The Program Botanist provides technical and scientific leadership in the development, analysis, dissemination and application of botanical information for the Natural Heritage Program. Primary duties include designing, conducting and securing support for inventory and applied research, coordinating the collection, management and analysis of botanical information, project administration, preparing reports and other information products, developing spatial, tabular and image databases, building collaboration among agencies, ecologists and others, strategic planning and program development, and providing consultation and expertise on species' status, management, research and conservation.

View the position announcement

Wednesday, October 9, 2013New Wildlife Bibliography Page

The Montana Natural Heritage Program has collaborated with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and members of the Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society to create a new web page for online bibliographies on Fish and Wildlife Recommendations for Subdivision Development in Montana and the Effects of Recreation on Rocky Mountain Wildlife, both of which are tied to reports on these topics.  These online bibliographies are now on the Heritage Program's website.

View the Wildlife Bibliographies

Monday, June 3, 2013Updated Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

The Montana Natural Heritage Program has released an updated edition of the Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants.

View the Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

Wednesday, March 6, 2013MTNHP Zoologist Named Wildlife Biologist of the Year

Dr. Bryce Maxell, Senior Zoologist with the Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP), was named “Wildlife Biologist of the Year” by the Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society last week at their annual meeting.

The Wildlife Society’s awards program honors professional excellence, recognizes outstanding achievement, and highlights contributions to wildlife science and management. The Biologist of the Year Award is presented annually for significant achievements in wildlife conservation anytime during the five years immediately preceding the award presentation.

Read the Full Announcement.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013Conservation easement data updated

Almost 75,000 acres of new (or previously undocumented) easements across the state have been added to the MTNHP Land Management Mapping Project's Conservation Easement feature class.  New easements include the recently signed Nature Conservancy easement in Valley County near the Bitter Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, several new US Fish and Wildlife Service easements protecting wetlands and grasslands in Phillips County, and a large Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks easement in the Kootenai region, protecting important timber, fish, and wildlife habitat.

View the Land Management Mapping Page

Tuesday, October 9, 2012Southwest Montana Wetland Assessment

Karen Newlon published Southwest Montana Wetland Assessment.  This report summarizes the results of our second basin-wide assessment of wetlands in the Upper Missouri Headwaters of southwestern Montana.

View the Southwest Montana Wetland Assessment

Wednesday, August 8, 2012Dave Stagliano hikes the Bob Marshal

Dave Stagliano follows Marshal's only documented route into the Bob Marshal Wilderness, focusing on the differences in landscape from what Bob Marshal saw back in 1928.

View the Video

Tuesday, May 22, 2012Checklist of the Birds of Montana

MTNHP just released a new Checklist of the Birds of Montana. The checklist is current as of May 2012, with all 427 species observed in the state. It provides valuable information on both breeding and overwintering status, as well as, indicates the 104 species considered rare in Montana.

View the Checklist of the Birds of Montana

Tuesday, May 8, 2012Wetland Riparian Data Toolset in MapViewer

MTNHP recently released its newest MapViewer toolset -- the Wetlands and Riparian Areas data for Montana. The new toolset allows users to view the most recently published and provisional wetland and riparian data for the state as well as the historical National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) data. Along with viewing the mapped wetlands and riparian areas, users may also run summary reports for watersheds of interest.

View the Wetlands and Riparian Data in MapViewer

Wednesday, February 15, 2012Updated Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

The Montana Natural Heritage Program has released an updated edition of the Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants.

View the Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

Monday, December 12, 2011Slugs and Snails Video

Paul Hendricks, Zoologist with the Montana Natural Heritage Program, is featured in a recent Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks "Montana Outdoors Report" video. The report focuses on Montana's native land mollusks.

View the Montana Outdoors Report about Slugs and Snails


Tuesday, August 30, 2011Powder River Fish and Bug Surveys Video

Most Montana rivers are well known to biologist, but in this outdoor report Winston Greely takes us to one Montana river that is just now being explored. The Montana Natural Heritage Program's survey of fish and bugs on the Powder River is featured in a recent Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Montana Outdoors video.

View the Montana Outdoors Report about the MTNHP Powder River Surveys


Thursday, June 2, 2011Revised Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

An updated version of the Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants is now available. This revised version incorporates hundreds of status and taxonomic changes made in the past year, as well the addition and deletion of a few species to the list and the addition of summaries of the number of species by Family and Genus.

View the Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

Tuesday, May 17, 2011Next Natural Heritage Program Director Announced

Please welcome Dr. Neil Snow as the new Director of the Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP) beginning July 1, 2011. Dr. Snow has achieved an international reputation in botany and taxonomy. He is enthusiastic about leading the program and forging strong working relationships with partner organizations. Dr. Snow spent many years in Colorado and Wyoming and has strong family ties to Montana. He is committed to the mission of the MTNHP and to meeting the needs of partners and the citizens of the state of Montana.

The MTNHP has been well-served by Dr. Bryce Maxell the past 18 months while he served as both Senior Zoologist and Interim Director. Dr. Maxell’s dedication to the MTNHP is greatly appreciated, and the zoology program will continue to be strong and robust with him at the helm.


Monday, April 11, 2011Land Management Data in MapViewer

The Montana Natural Heritage Program recently released a new web application: the Natural Heritage MapViewer. The MapViewer is an interactive web mapping service that will, over time, enable users to perform a variety of tasks to access and use MTNHP databases and information. Recently, MTNHP added a new tool set to the MapViewer that enables the display and query of the Montana Land Management Data. The database depicts four main categories of land management:
  1. Public Lands
  2. Conservation Easements
  3. Special designated lands such as wildlife refuges, Research Natural Areas, wilderness, etc.
  4. Lands owned by land trusts or other private conservation oriented entities.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011New Montana Land Cover GIS Map Service

The Montana Natural Heritage Program would like to announce that the MSDI Land Cover Web Map Services are now available from the Montana GIS Portal. There are two services: one dynamic and one cached. This new data set is a Montana-specific land cover layer modified from the Pacific Northwest ReGAP project classification from 30 meter resolution Landsat imagery. Descriptions of the land cover types can be found in the Ecological Systems Field Guide.

For more information search the Montana GIS Portal for “msdi land cover map service”.

Note: When adding this service directly in ArcGIS as an ArcGIS Server, omit "rest/" from the URL so that it reads:
http://gisportal.msl.mt.gov/arcgis/services/BaseMaps


Monday, March 21, 2011New Montana Land Cover GIS Data

The Montana Natural Heritage Program would like to announce that the MSDI Land Cover layer is now available for download from the Montana GIS Portal. This is a Montana-specific land cover layer modified from the Pacific Northwest ReGAP project classification from 30 meter resolution Landsat imagery. For more information search the Montana GIS Portal for “msdi land cover”. Descriptions of the land cover types can be found in the Ecological Systems Field Guide.


Thursday, January 20, 201110 Years of SWG Grants

This year marks 10 years of the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG), federal funds distributed to states for surveys and management of nongame species. This national program is intended to prevent wildlife from becoming threatened or endangered and has greatly expanded our understanding of the distribution and status of a number of species in Montana.

Monday, November 22, 2010Natural Heritage Program Webinars

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is pleased to announce a series of webinars this winter to help our users make better use of our information and web services. To find out more or to register for one of the webinars, please email the instructor listed below with the webinar title and date you wish to attend.

All session are free and will run approximately one hour.

As of now, all webinars will use Go To Meeting webinar software. Audio will be handled via conference call. The conference call ID and phone number, instructions for installing the software and joining the meeting will be emailed to participants prior to the session.

Read more on the Webinar web page


  • Title: Overview of MT Natural Heritage Program Data Resources
    Date: Tuesday January 25, 1-2 p.m.
    Instructor: Bryce Maxell, bmaxell@mt.gov
    Participant Limit: None

  • Title: Wetland Data Resources
    Date: Tuesday February 15, 1-2 p.m.
    Instructor: Linda Vance, livance@mt.gov
    Participant Limit: None

  • Title: Introduction to the New Natural Heritage MapViewer for landcover and land management information
    Date: Tuesday February 22, 1-2 p.m.
    Instructor: Allan Cox, acox@mt.gov
    Participant Limit: 25

  • Title: Using the Natural Heritage Tracker to access animal and plant data, and to enter animal observations
    Date: Wednesday March 2, 1-2 p.m.
    Instructor: Allan Cox, acox@mt.gov
    Participant Limit: 25

  • Title: Using the Natural Heritage Tracker to access animal and plant data, and to enter animal observations
    Date: Thursday March 3, 1-2 p.m.
    Instructor: Allan Cox, acox@mt.gov
    Participant Limit: 25 ** Please note: This session is available only to state and federal agencies.

Thursday, September 30, 2010New Natural Heritage MapViewer

The Montana Natural Heritage Program recently released a new web application: the Natural Heritage MapViewer. The MapViewer is an interactive web mapping service that will, over time, enable users to perform a variety of tasks to access and use MTNHP databases and information. This first release includes tools to view and query the new Montana landcover data with ties-ins to the Ecological Systems Field Guide, and tools to access and view over 12,000 geo-reference habitat photos for Montana.

Try the NEW Natural Heritage MapViewer

Monday, September 20, 2010Montana Reference Wetland Network

In 2008, the Montana Natural Heritage Program was awarded an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant to develop a statewide network of herbaceous reference wetlands. The project focused on Montana's herbaceous wetland ecological systems.

At each site, we conducted a Level 2 rapid assessment that evaluates the general ecological condition of individual wetlands using field indicators and identifies specific stressors that correlate with wetland condition. At a subsample of wetlands, we also conducted Level 3 intensive vegetation assessments to gather quantitative data that can be used to validate rapid wetland assessments, characterize wetland condition, and diagnose causes of degradation. Wetland assessments were conducted during the summer of 2008 and 2009.

View the Montana Wetland Reference Network Web Page

Wednesday, September 8, 2010Updated Land Stewardship Maps

The Montana Natural Heritage Program has released the 2010 version of its Land Stewardship Maps. These maps are produced from its Land Stewardship Mapping database. The 102 maps are based on the US Geological Survey 1:100,000 scale topographic map series and use those boundaries as the indexing tiles.

The maps depict four main categories of land management:

  1. Public Lands
  2. Conservation Easements
  3. Special designated lands such as wildlife refuges, Research Natural Areas, wilderness, etc.
  4. Lands owned by land trusts or other private conservation oriented entities.
The maps are intended to display an overall picture of land management. The maps are not intended as a legal representation of public or private land boundaries.

All maps are provided in Adobe PDF format. The maps are designed to be printed at a size of 36 by 30 inches on a large format printer.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010Mussel Relocation Video

You might have heard a lot about the "Bad" Aquatic Mussels trying to come into Montana, but in this Fish, Wildlife and Parks Outdoor Report, Winston Greely shows us how Wildlife Managers are helping our "Good" native mussels. The Montana Natural Heritage Program's Aquatic Ecologist, Dave Stagliano, is featured in the video.

Friday, August 6, 2010New Conservation Easement Information and Web Map

The Montana Natural Heritage Program has released updated Conservation Easement data for 2010 and created an on-line interactive map to display the easement information. The easements are part of the Montana Land Stewardship Mapping Program the MTNHP maintains. In addition to the conservation easements, other information, including the managed areas data were updated.

Wednesday, July 28, 20102010 - 2014 Draft Strategic Plan Now Available

The Montana Natural Heritage Program has posted its 2010 to 2014 Draft Strategic Plan. This draft plan has been developed by staff and program managers and covers major goals and objectives for the Botany, Zoology, Ecology, and Information Services programs between July 2010 and June 2014.

View the 2010-2014 Draft Strategic Plan

Thursday, July 8, 2010Wetlands Data and Maps Now Available

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is excited to announce the availability of new wetlands data and maps for Montana. New maps of the wetland and riparian areas are now available for downloading from the Wetlands and Riparian Mapping Center. You may also view the progress status of the wetland mapping as well as download GIS wetlands data.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010Montana Mussels Poster Now Available

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is pleased to announce the release of the "Mussels of Montana" poster. This poster summarizes available knowledge of freshwater mussels in Montana from the last three years of surveys and data collection. Read more...

View a PDF of the Poster

Monday, June 21, 2010Milk Marias Wetlands Assessment

In 2008, the MTNHP was awarded an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant to develop a long term rotating basin wetland monitoring and assessment program. The pilot project for the rotating basin assessment program took place in the Milk and the Marias watersheds located in north central Montana. A simple map and data retrieval web site was developed to provide access to the results.

View the Milk Marias Wetlands Assessment Web Site

Tuesday, March 9, 2010The Checklist of Montana Dragonflies & Damselflies

The Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP) and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MTFWP) are pleased to announce The Checklist of Montana Dragonflies & Damselflies brochure. With 53 dragonfly species and 29 damselfly species included, this checklist represents the most current information available for Odonates in the state. This checklist provides information on distribution, abundance and seasonal occurrence for each species. Hard copies of this brochure are available, free to the public, at the MTNHP office within the Montana State Library, as well as at the MTFWP HQ office in Helena. A digital version can be downloaded from the MTNHP web site at the link below.

View the Checklist of Montana Dragonflies & Damselflies

Thursday, February 18, 2010MTNHP Annual Report for 2009

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is pleased to announce the publication of its 2009 Annual Report. The report summarizes program activities, data products, and data delivery highlights during the 2009 calendar year.

View the MTNHP 2009 Annual Report

Tuesday, February 2, 2010Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is pleased to announce the publication of A Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants. This initial list comprises over 2,500 species reported for the state of Montana and it is expected to be updated periodically as new information becomes available.

View the New Checklist of Montana Vascular Plants

Wednesday, January 27, 2010Outdoor Bat Detection Video

The Montana Natural Heritage Program's bat detection work is featured in a recent Montana Outdoors Report.

View the video on the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010Data Services Survey

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is conducting a short survey of individuals who have recently received Species of Concern project reviews or data transfers from the Program. The survey is intended to gather basic information on the value and quality of the information and services you recently received. It is short and should not take more than a few minutes to complete.

Thursday, November 12, 2009New Species of Concern Report

The Montana Natural Heritage Program is pleased to announce a new Species of Concern (SOC) Report. This new on-line report replaces our previous Species of Concern web search as well as the printed Species of Concern reports.

The new reports provide:

  • All of the narrative information found in the printed reports.
  • Up-to-date status information for SOC species.
  • Lists of species additions and deletions over time.
  • Enhanced search and filtering functions for generating custom reports.
  • Ability to save and print reports to an Adobe PDF file.
  • Additional information for the species including documented county occurrences, habitats for animals, and additional status information for plants and birds.

Please Note: This new report is optimized for MS Windows Internet Explorer 8, Google Chrome, and FireFox. There is a known issue that may cause a slower response in Internet Explorer 6 and 7.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009New Maps & Charts in the Montana Field Guide

We recently added new maps and charts to the species accounts in the Montana Field Guide. Check out the Greater Sage Grouse example to see the new maps and charts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009Celebrating Sue Crispin's Service

Today we’re celebrating and honoring Sue Crispin's 29 years of service with The Nature Conservancy and the NatureServe / Heritage Network.