Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Blackfoot Challenge Inc

Better Communities through Collaborative Conservation

aka Blackfoot Challenge

Ovando, MT

Mission

To coordinate efforts to conserve and enhance the natural resources and rural way of life in the Blackfoot watershed for present and future generations.

Ruling Year

1995

Executive Director

Seth Wilson

Main Address

P.O. Box 103

Ovando, MT 59854 USA

Keywords

community-based, collaboration, cooperation, grassroots, conservation, private land, public land, working landscapes

EIN

81-0488863

 Number

0346099632

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Our story begins in the early 1970s, when landowners along the Blackfoot River recognized the need to build partnerships with their neighbors and the greater public to address increasing recreation. By being inclusive, focusing on shared values, and building trust, these partners realized they could accomplish more by working together. Through partnership, they tackled issues such as water quality, fisheries restoration, invasive weeds, and changing landownership. This was a different way of doing business -- it started at the ground level and focused on people. This approach was formalized in 1993 with the creation of the Blackfoot Challenge, whose mission is to "coordinate efforts to conserve and enhance the natural resources and rural way of life in the Blackfoot Watershed." Through eight Board-led committees, we coordinate responses to community needs and find homegrown solutions that stand the test of time.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wildlife

Weeds

Water Resources

Forestry

Education

Conservation Strategies

Land Stewardship

Trumpeter Swans

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of individuals applying skills learned through the organization's training

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Land Stewardship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of conservation actions at site(s)

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Forestry

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of acres of land protected

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Conservation Strategies

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Area of land, in hectares, indirectly controlled by the organization and under sustainable cultivation or sustainable stewardship

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Conservation Strategies

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context notes

Blackfoot Community Conservation Area

Number of sites with restored population successfully breeding

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Trumpeter Swans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of links and collaborations with external organizations that support student learning and its priority tasks

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children who have access to education

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Conservation Strategies

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Committees, Programs and Outcomes Conservation Strategies · Coordinating land conservation and stewardship to keep working landscapes intact. • 83% of watershed in conserved status (public ownership or under conservation easement) • Coordinating community-based process for permanent ownership of former timberland Education · Nurturing watershed awareness and stewardship through place-based education. • Educating 500 youth each year since 1993 • Reaching 2,000 adults each year since 2004 Forestry · Restoring forest health and reducing wildfire risk near communities. • Treating an average of 500 acres each year since 2009 • Building momentum and partnerships to implement cross-boundary prescribed fire Land Stewardship · Supporting landowners through stewardship assistance one property at a time. • 50 landowners receiving personalized natural resource management assistance per year • Soil Health Workgroup identifying tools unique to the Blackfoot watershed Partnerships · Transferring the lessons learned through collaborative conservation. • Approval for private landowner advisory group to Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture • Formation of Partners for Conservation as national voice for the landowner-led conservation • Model for National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Landscape Conservation Stewardship Vegetation · Integrated, locally-led approaches to invasive plant management across fence lines. • Managing an average of 15,000 acres each year since 2000 Water Resources · Voluntary water stewardship grounded in shared knowledge and shared commitment. • Conserving 50 cfs water during annual Drought Response since 2002 • Over 100 individual drought response plans activated in a drought year • 80% of the watershed irrigators participating in the energy efficiency program Wildlife · Reducing human-wildlife conflicts through proactive and preventative strategies. • Reducing grizzly bear conflicts by 94% since 2003 • Reducing wolf conflicts since 2008 • Monitoring 40,000+ acres for carnivore activity every summer Annual work plans, committee membership, and budgets are approved each year by the Board of Directors.

Local and federal partnerships are the most effective and efficient approach to conserve working landscapes and support responsible landscape stewardship. Our style is participatory, providing diverse stakeholders a seat at the table where we first work on the 80% we have in common, which develops trust and because all values are invited to participate, this creates durable solutions. These partnerships are supported with good science and our primary strategy to leverage resources and relationships through public/private partnerships

We possess 40 years of trust building, 20 years of conservation impact, and a national reputation for cooperative conservation.

We are able to sustain our community-based responses and have the capacity to respond to changing conditions.

BOARD - We have a diverse Board of Directors, representing all the communities in the watershed and all agency partners. This diversity is written into the by-laws, where the agencies have standing seats on the board, as board members or board partners, depending on their ability within in each agency, to formally join. The Board meets monthly to review administrative details, and hold a “mission moment" to build trust and partnerships through a round table discussion on accomplishments, ongoing work and future opportunities. LEADERSHIP – The Board and staff conducted a comprehensive assessment in 2013, 2 staff satisfaction surveys, a 360 evaluation of the executive director, and hold an annual strategic framework session. PRACTICES - The Blackfoot Challenge facilitates a community-based, collaborative approach to respond to changing conditions in watershed communities and natural resources. To date, we have developed innovations for the community-based approach in land conservation, natural resource management, drought response, and coexistence of people and carnivores. We hold ourselves accountable for administrative procedures with a written Operations Manual and Employee Handbook.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Blackfoot Challenge Inc

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes