About LMCD

Lewis and Clark's Map of the "Muscle Shell" River

Lewis and Clark’s Map of the “Muscle Shell” River

The Lower Musselshell Conservation District (LMCD) was formed in 1943. It consists of 2,053,120

acres, covering all of Musselshell and Golden Valley counties and a portion of Rosebud county. Our headquarters are located in Roundup, Montana. The landscape of the district flows from the foothills of west central Montana to the sedimentary plains of eastern Montana. The Musselshell River intersects the district, with a valley floor from about half to three miles in width. Although the original meanders were destroyed by the Milwaukee Railroad, some remain along with a few cottonwood stands within the agriculture-dominated terrain.

South of the Musselshell River are the Bull Mountains uplands; a region of deeply dissected residual uplands characterized by narrow canyons and drainages and topped by isolated sandstone mesas and buttes. North of the Musselshell a vast stretch of broken prairie spreads out for miles. Grassland and sagebrush steppe dominate the landscape of the Musselshell Valley, and as such, dryland farming and cattle operations take the lion’s share of land use.

The cities of Roundup and Ryegate are the incorporated cities within the district. The district works with area schools, sponsoring volunteer water monitoring programs and outdoor classrooms.

Working together with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Musselshell Watershed Coalition, LMCD provides a means for interested people in the community to work together for natural resource conservation and development. The objective of the district is to carry out the treatment of each acre of land according to its needs, based on its capabilities and to address these needs in the best possible manner. We provide a means for all interested people in the community to work together for natural resources conservation and development. Participation is strictly voluntary. The Conservation District works to protect the natural  resources of the district, its soil and minerals, forests, waters, and wildlife.

In the wake of the 2011 flooding and the 2012 Dahl fires the District will has been working to assist and engage citizens in the Lower Musselshell Basin with recovery efforts. Currently, the district is working to expand water monitoring efforts along the Musselshell. We work with the landowners and operators to identify and aid in solving problems that arise, such as streambank erosion, noxious weeds, overgrazing of range land, saline seep management, forest and timber management, water quality problems, and energy conservation. We administer grants for projects in our district. We also sponsor the Annual Outdoor Classroom for area 5th and 6th graders, and sell wildlife escape ramps, landowner map books, Plantskydd animal repellent, and seedling trees.

The Lower Musselshell Conservation District was awarded the 1998 Goodyear/National Association of Conservation Districts award, the 2000 CF Industries National Watershed Award, the 2000 Montana Watershed Stewardship Award, and several newsletter awards. In 2013, the conservation district became a partner in the statewide Big Sky Watershed Corps program, a partnership of the Montana Association of Conservation Districts, Montana Watershed Coordination Council, and the Montana Conservation Corps.

All Lower Musselshell Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, gender, political beliefs, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or handicap. Meetings of the LMCD are held every third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the USDA building in Roundup. 

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