The Council was formed in early 2000 by concerned citizens with a desire to coordinate conservation efforts along the Missouri River. The Missouri River was gaining national attention as a priority for recovery and conservation and Montana was the first state to organize and fund a true grassroots entity focused on the Missouri River Basin. Through the Council, Conservation Districts are given a unified front and collective voice when addressing natural resource issues, opportunities, and challenges associated with the Missouri River.
The Council’s first home was the Cascade Conservation District. By 2001, the value of the Council had been demonstrated enough to get funding for a full-time coordinator. Since then, the Council’s headquarters have moved to Helena where they share an office with MACD.
Science demonstrates that management of the uplands impacts the health of the riparian corridor, therefore, the Council takes a broader view of relevant conservation practices than only those applied within the mainstem of the river. This approach allows the Council complete flexibility to work on a variety of conservation issues, making it as relevant today as when it was formed over a decade ago.