Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan - Central and Eastern Montana
The Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan (MRERP) process is an ambitious project spanning a 2,300-mile river system, six mainstem dams, and seven states. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is leading this effort to produce a long-term river management, restoration, mitigation, and recovery plan for the entire Missouri River Basin.
PlaceMatters' involvement in this process included public meetings across the Missouri River region. PlaceMatters collaborated with the University of Montana Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (CNREP) to plan and facilitate the two public meetings in Montana, one in Great Falls (pop. 58,536) and the other in the rural Hi-Line community of Poplar (pop. 866), the seat of eastern Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
By using storytelling exercises, paper maps, web-based mapping technology, and PlaceMatters’ AnyWare suite of tools, participants in the Montana meetings were able to share stories about their experiences with the river, identify core values, highlight key resource management and restoration issues, and identify desired future outcomes and indicators of success. As individuals in small groups shared their stories and ideas, facilitators captured this information and tied it to a location on a Google Map shared with the other meeting site, so that everyone involved could read the rich range of stories and see their distribution across the Missouri River Basin. By using the AnyWare tools and keypad polling, the group was easily able to brainstorm and then prioritize “indicators of success” for the River system. The two meeting locations were also linked via web-streaming, which helped participants feel part of the larger process.
PlaceMatters also developed a website for the larger MRERP process, which provided a hub for all of the facilitators working on MRERP community meetings across the multi-state region.
The National Environmental Policy Act process is ongoing, with a Final Missouri River Ecosystems Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Statement expected in 2016.
- Identify core values, highlight key resource management and restoration issues, and identify desired future outcomes and indicators of success.
- Connect multiple public meetings at different sites together using a shared map and web-streaming
Project Website: www.mrerp.org