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Lake County Conservation District is one of 58 conservation districts in the state of Montana. The Montana Legislature created conservation districts in 1939 to help citizens conserve their soil, water and other renewable natural resources. Conservation districts work closely with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) when carrying out their duties.

In 1974, an additional level of responsibility was added when the State Legislature charged conservation districts with administering the “Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act”, commonly known as the “310 Law” for the state of Montana. Any private individual or corporation proposing to undertake a project or construction activity in a perennial stream must first apply for a permit from their local conservation district. In the permitting process, conservation district supervisors and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks representative inspect the site with the applicant to ensure it is completed in a fashion that maintains the integrity of the stream system.

Our District

The Lake County Conservation District Board of Supervisors is comprised of 7 supervisors, a varying number of associate supervisors and a full time district administrator. Five of the supervisors are elected throughout the county and two are appointed by the City of Polson and the City of Ronan. Current membership includes Lake County residents that have experience in farming, ranching, natural resource engineering, forestry, education and conservation.

  • Jim Simpson, Chairman (2005)
  • Sigurd Jensen, Vice Chair (2001)
  • Susan Gardner, Supervisor (1996)
  • Zoe Lilja, Supervisor (2006)
  • Curt Rosman, Supervisor (2006)
  • Jan Niemeyer, Supervisor (2018)
  • Carlos Rodriques, Supervisor (2008)
  • Jack Sutphin, Associate Supervisor (2010)
  • David Sturman, Associate Supervisor (2014)
  • Lita Fonda, Associate Supervisor (2017)
  • Heidi Fleury, Conservation Coordinator (2016)
  • Karli Becher, Resource Conservationist (2017)
  • Lauren Odom, Big Sky Watershed Corps Member (2018)
  • Ben Montgomery, District Conservationist, NRCS

What Do Conservation Districts Do?

  • The Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act
  • Water Quality
  • Watershed Planning, Local Watershed Councils, and Coordinated Resource Management Efforts
  • Riparian Management
  • Federal Conservation Programs
  • Conservation Education
  • Urban Conservation
  • Saline Seep Reclamation
  • Rangeland Resources
  • Forest Practices
  • Resource Conservation and Development
  • Water Reservations
  • Conservation Equipment
  • And That’s Not All

Local Conservation District Goals include:

  • Management of the SB-310 Law
  • Watershed Education
  • Soil Ecology Workshops
  • Small Acreage Landowner Workshops
  • Swan Resource Management Study
  • Envirothon
  • Governor’s Range Tour
  • Winter Grazing Seminar
  • Mini Grants for Education

Representing Lake County Conservation District on other boards including: Flathead Basin Commission, County Planning, City County Planning, Montana Association of Conservation Districts, Montana Association of Conservation Districts Employee Organization, Montana Watershed, Inc.

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