Milk River State of the Watershed Report

The Milk River Council Canada (MRWCC) is pleased to release the 2nd edition of the Milk River Transboundary State of the Watershed Report. This report is a significant achievement in the move toward resource management that is uninhibited by political boundaries. Resource managers in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and in the State of Montana have joined together with the Milk River Watershed Council Canada to report on the State of the Milk River watershed. Although resource management decisions may continue to start and end at interprovincial and international boundaries, this document signifies a turning point for the Milk River watershed where managers understand the importance of sharing information with neighbouring jurisdictions for the better management of common resources.

In 2008, the Milk River Watershed Council Canada (MRWCC) completed the first Milk River State of the Watershed Report which was confined to the Alberta portion of the watershed. The Milk River Transboundary State of the Watershed Report builds on its predecessor by expanding to include Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana. Also in this new edition, indicator data that was presented in the 2008 report was updated to represent present day status. Data generally spans the timeframe from 2008 to 2013 and varies depending on availability for specific indicators. This report documents general trends in the Milk River watershed. It should be used by landowners, resource managers and stakeholder groups as a support tool for natural resource planning. Where possible, historical data is used in the report to provide context for the present status of watershed indicators. The report covers a broad range of topics, with a focus on:

·    Watershed Characteristics
·    Socio-Economic Condition
·    Surface Water Quantity and Allocation
·    Surface Water Quality
·    Groundwater
·    Riparian Areas and Wetlands
·    Biodiversity (Fish, Wildlife, Plants and Invasive Species)
·    Land Use (Access, Parks, Protected and Managed Areas, Tourism and
     Recreation, Agriculture, and Oil and Gas)

Watershed stewards within each of these topic areas were used to report on the condition of watershed resources through time. The indicators provide a summary measure of the overall state and function of the Milk River watershed and were chosen, in part, based on available data and existing research.

Versions of the State of the Watershed Report can be accessed here:

Milk River Transboundary State of the Watershed Report – 2nd Edition (print quality: 500 MB)
2008 Milk River State of the watershed report