BMP Effectiveness & Monitoring

Implementation of an effective monitoring system of the information mechanism for notifying the population about environmental threats is the main task of environmental conferences. For this, it is worth using a comprehensive program in which the memo writer online of the conduct observation, collection, processing, systematization and analysis of information about the state of the environment, which gives an assessment and predicts its changes, develops reasonable recommendations for making management decisions.

Watershed Monitoring & Management Initiative
Watershed Monitoring and Management is an initiative which provides tools and training to improve assessment of health and management of Western watersheds, including restoring and protecting water quality for multiple benefits.

OverviewTraining & CertificationYouth & EducatorTribal & Hispanic
Education about watershed management should begin with youth and can extend throughout adulthood careers. Recognizing this, regionally supported projects by Wyoming, Utah, and Montana have resulted in assemblage of research-based tools, training resources for adult learners, and educational opportunities for youth which are contributing to improved understanding of the principles of watershed function and the effective and meaningful assessment of health and management of watersheds for multiple benefits. Spawned from a USDA-NIFA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in Utah, and water quality monitor training programs in Wyoming, a monitoring guidance document, Best Management Practices Monitoring Guidance Document, was designed to help watershed managers identify appropriate and effective monitoring strategies to meet specific watershed monitoring project objectives.

The guidance manual is currently used for training college students, tribal interns, natural resource agency personnel, volunteer monitors, and teachers throughout the region. Individuals involved in monitoring, with benefit of training from the document, have increased knowledge on the importance of credible data and more reliable assessment of effectiveness of best management practices in stream systems of the region. Additional outcomes of this regional effort are improved management of watersheds based on real understandings of effectiveness of different implementations and practices; improved water quality monitoring programs that better characterize problems within watersheds and are designed to identify and quantify impacts associated with changed behaviors and implemented best practices; and increased involvement and understanding by citizens on how water bodies respond to changes in land uses, pollutant inputs, or other stressors.

Water Quality Monitoring Training and Certification

As a means of engaging citizens of the region in watershed management, state water quality coordinators in the region have maintained an active leadership, collaboration, or instructional role in helping natural resource agency partners and stakeholders strengthen capacity for water quality monitoring, both among volunteers and professionals. Wyoming has developed a rigorous, tiered approach to monitor certification and is now serving as a model for other states in the region. Montana recently formalized a partnership with the Montana Watercourse to follow the Wyoming example, while incorporating important principles currently taught in Utah. Additionally, four of the regional states have initiated or maintained active participation in the Rocky Mountain water quality monitoring network, a collaborative information sharing network of natural resource agenciesand EPA Region 8.

Youth and Educator Education

Much of the work on nonpoint source control depends on changes in individual behaviors. These changes in behaviors often result from an understanding of the benefits surface and ground water provide, knowledge of a linkage between activities on land and quality of waters, and a level of concern that will actually motivate behavior change. Studies indicate that this concern is often founded in activities and experiences during youth. Studies also indicate that formal and informal youth educators often have very little understanding of the science and issues of water and watersheds. As a result, water quality educational programs are often not utilized by formal and informal educators. Increasing young peoples’ knowledge and awareness of water related science is integral to future water quality management.

A component of the regional initiative on watershed management is a water quality curriculum targeted to youth to college students to teachers. Streamside Science, curriculum for 9th grade students, was initially developed by Utah. The Utah model was expanded into a for-credit on-line graduate course aimed at science teachers. Additional components of the Utah model and the on-line graduate course have also been incorporated into undergraduate (collegiate) classroom instruction.

Tribal, Hispanic Serving Institution, and 2-year College WQ Curriculum Capacity Building

No less than 23 uniquely identified Native American populations, five Hispanic serving higher education institutions, 17 Native American higher education institutions, and 40 two-year and vocational education/technology colleges presently address educational needs of underserved populations of the region. Many underserved communities face water quality impairment issues, including access to safe drinking water. While there is often significant desire within and from outside these underserved communities to address water quality needs, in many cases there is lack of knowledge among community members about how to characterize and address these issues. Additionally, although 1994 institutions, Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) institutions and locally-attended 2-year and vocational education/technology institutions provide the venue for improving the knowledge base of underserved community members, a critical mass of faculty and instructors with water quality expertise and experience is often lacking. Partnerships facilitated between faculty of Tribal, HSI, and 2-year colleges and land-grant universities through the USDA-NIFA National Water Program can help bridge the gap between science and community implementation adapted to specific community needs.

Montana State University Extension’s Water Quality Program worked with Salish Kootenai College and the NPM Regional Water Program to develop a water quality teaching package. The package provides materials to support a college level water quality course to enhance water science education capacity at tribal colleges.

Rangeland Management

Livestock Care

  • Nitrate Poisoning (CSU fact sheet 1.610)
  • Prussic Acid Poisoning (CSU fact sheet 1.612)
  • Stretching Your Horse’s Hay Supply During Drought (CSU fact sheet 1.625)
  • EPA Nonpoint Source Pollution
BMP Development for Tile Drainage and Saline Waters
In contrast to the issue of limited water supplies, eastern parts of the region (ND, SD) have been experiencing a growing interest in and installation of artificial drainage in many agricultural fields experiencing limited profitability due to elevated salinity and rising water tables. In an effort to address this issue and gain better understanding of the connectivity between tile drainage and receiving stream water quality, water quality coordinators within the region have developed partnerships with state and federal natural resource management agencies, private farmer groups, and counter-part water quality coordinators in Region 5 to conduct educational programs for interested farmers and initiate research that will provide information about water quality and quantity sourced from tile drains.
Best Management Practices for Colorado Corn
  • Introduction
  • Hybrid Selection
  • Planting Guide
  • Growth Stage and Diagnostics
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Insect Pests
  • Corn Diseases
  • Weeds
  • Herbicide Injury
  • Soil Fertility
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen Uptake & Application
  • Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Irrigation
  • Growth Stages
  • Center Pivot
  • Surface Irrigation
  • PAM
  • Water Quality and Salinity
  • Tillage
  • Compaction
  • Record Keeping
  • Corn Production Calendar
BMP in Agriculture
  • Best Management Practices for Colorado Agriculture: An Overview (CSU fact sheet XCM-171)
  • Best Management Practices for Agricultural Pesticide Use (CSU fact sheet XCM-177)
  • Best Management Practices for Crop Pests (CSU fact sheet XCM-176)
  • Best Management Practices for Groundwater Protection from Agricultural Pesticides: Technical Paper (NDSU fact sheet – ER 25)
  • Best Management Practices for Irrigation Management (CSU fact sheet XCM-173)
  • Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Fertilization (CSU fact sheet XCM-172)
  • Best Management Practices for Pesticide and Fertilizer Storage and Handling (CSU fact sheet XCM-178)
  • Best Management Practices for Phosphorous Fertilization (CSU fact sheet XCM-175)
  • EPA: Consideration in the Treatment Best Management Practices to Improve Water Quality (U.S. EPA)
  • Nitrogen and Irrigation Management (CSU fact sheet 0.514)
  • Protecting Groundwater from Pesticide Contamination (NDSU fact sheet – AE 1197)
  • Protecting Surface Water from Pesticide Contamination in North Dakota – Recommendations for Assessment and Management A Review and Analysis of Scientific Literature (NDSU fact sheet – ER 37)
  • SAFE Storage, Handling and Disposal of Pesticides and Containers (NDSU fact sheet – AE 977)
  • New Software: Water Management Simulator
  • Water Management in Idaho Potatoes