Water

Wetlands

Wetlands are valuable for providing flood and erosion control, enhancing water quality, and providing wildlife and fish habitat. Wetlands continue to be impacted and lost as roads are expanded, land is developed, and due to cumulative impacts from numerous activities such as draining, changes in land management, and landowner preference for open water ponds. DEQ’s Water Protection Bureau is responsible for coordinating and providing leadership to wetland conservation activities statewide. These projects range from an Evaluation of Wetland Impacts in the State of Montana, to Developing Education and Information about Montana Wetlands, to a Local Partnership composed of local government, wetland ecologist, and community volunteers to inventory wetlands for restoration and management needs. 

The 2011-2018 Montana DEQ Wetland Program Plan guides activities.









Channel Migration Zone Maps

Obtaining Wetland Maps for Montana

Webinar: Montana Wetland and Riparian Mapping: Where to Find It and How to Use Them Classification Handout

The following links are web sites where information regarding wetland location can be obtained. This data can be viewed spatially via the web or downloaded by quad/or state into a GIS program.

Montana Wetland and Riparian Mapping Center

The Montana Heritage Wetland and Riparian Mapping Center produces much of the wetland and riparian maps for Montana. Currently NWI does not provide riparian area maps. Maps of provisional wetland data and riparian areas may be available for areas not currently in the NWI data base and can be obtained by contacting the Montana Natural Heritage Program (406) 444-3380.

USFWS National Wetlands Inventory

The NWI Wetlands Mapper allows you to download and view wetlands at a scale of 1:100,000 or less. Using the NWI Wetlands Mapper lets you download wetlands only in the immediate vicinity of the area you are interested in. Wetlands Mapper also has the capability of producing maps that can be printed.

Download Data by State

Google Earth

View NWI Wetlands in Google Earth follow the WetlandsData.KMZ link on NWI Wetlands in Google Earth page.

GIS Clearinghouse

Montana GIS Clearinghouse allows you to download a statewide dataset of wetlands currently mapped in Montana in a GIS shapefile format. Generally this is a very large file. Check the metadata to determine when this dataset was last updated.

Not finding wetlands information for your area? Click here to determine if wetlands have been or are scheduled to be mapped in your area.

If you need further assistance, contact Stephen Carpenedo (406) 444-3527 or the Montana Natural Heritage (406) 444-3380.

The Wetland Program at MDEQ, Montana Wetlands Legacy Partnership, Big Hole Watershed Committee, and Greater Gallatin Watershed Committee, with funding from an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant started a pilot project in early 2011 to incorporate wetlands into the watershed restoration planning process. The goals of this project are:

  1. Incorporate wetland-specific goals and objectives into comprehensive watershed restoration plans;
  2. Increase the capacity of local governments and watershed groups to protect and restore wetlands through watershed restoration plans;
  3. Demonstrate the steps, techniques, and tools available for incorporating wetlands into watershed restoration planning;
  4. Demonstrate how the incorporation of wetlands into watershed restoration plans can contribute to reducing pollutant loads identified in the TMDL planning process; and
  5. Expand the incorporation of wetlands into other watershed restoration plans through the transfer of knowledge gained. To accomplish this we are loosely following the template the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) outlined in 'Using local Watershed Plans to Protect Wetlands' which recommends 11 steps necessary for incorporating wetlands into watershed restoration plans.

Wetland conservation priorities are funded by an Environmental Protection Agency grant program administered by the DEQ Wetland Coordinator. Currently, there are 20 active grant projects involving state and local governments.