Building sustainability for the long term.
One Montana’s Resilient Communities program seeks to address Montana’s shifting demographics and how these changes will affect our economy, environment and sense of community. We will work with communities and organizations throughout the state to help them develop businesses, initiatives, and programs which build resilience and help sustain them for the long term.
Within this context we have four interrelated areas we plan to focus on:
INNOVATION AND ENGAGEMENT: This initiative addresses the growing divide between young and old, urban and rural, and seeks to get today’s youth directly involved in today’s problems for the future.
CHANGING LAND OWNERSHIP AND THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE IN MONTANA: This initiative will tackle the issues of land ownership change and how this affects food production and sustaining agriculture, secession, and the interplay of public and private land.
COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP: Core rural values are at stake as an increasing number of people unfamiliar with resource extraction, like mining and timber, and a growing recreational interest threaten rural economies and cultures. The goal of our community stewardship initiative is to provide guidance to communities around preserving core rural values while adapting to changing economic and cultural realities.
COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP PROJECT EXAMPLE—
STEWARDING SUCCESS IN WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS: This is a community organizing resiliency project in the Smith River watershed of rural Meagher County where White Sulphur Springs is located. An underground copper mine is in the final permitting stages and if/when the mine is in operation, it will have a significant impact on the county and watershed. One Montana has played the lead role in developing and organizing the Meagher County Stewardship Council (MCSC) to “watchdog” the mine’s operation to ensure a healthy and vibrant watershed and community both before and after the mine’s operation. With One Montana’s acting as the major advisor to MCSC, its work, in part, entails the development and implementation of a Community Benefits Agreement much like the Good Neighbor Agreement put in place 18 years ago between the Stillwater River watershed communities and the Stillwater Mine in southcentral Montana.
One Montana is also pursuing the production of a documentary film on the process of what happens when a rural county suddenly has a very significant economic, social and environmental challenge before them when a large international mining company constructs and operates an underground mine employing as many as 250 people. Core rural values and a pristine environment are at stake both during the mine’s operation and when it is no longer operating.
BEHAVIOR HEALTH: As Montana’s urban centers continue to grow, the consequences for Montana’s behavior health services in rural communities are profound. We plan to expand One Montana’s capacity to help deliver behavior health services in rural communities across the state.