Montana and surrounding states have experienced two severe drought events during the past five years that were characterized by rapid development during the growing season.
In response to the magnitude and diversity of impacts during these droughts, the Montana state government initiated a two-year collaborative process to update the state-level drought response plan. This initiative is a rich opportunity for the project team to provide guidance to the advisory committee regarding state-of-the art drought monitoring tools and to partner with resource managers to better understand the impacts of ecological drought on forest, range, and riparian ecosystems.
During this project, the research team will develop new ecologically relevant drought monitoring tools and assess the ability of traditional drought indicators to accurately represent ecological drought conditions. Extensive social science tasks will allow the team to contribute valuable information and guidance to the Montana drought advisory committee regarding the timing of management decisions made by natural resource stakeholders, the existing tools and trigger points that are used when making those decisions, and how new ecological drought monitoring tools could be incorporated into their decision-making process.
This research was funded by NIDIS through the FY 2022 Coping with Drought Competition – Ecological Drought. For more information, please contact Britt Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org).