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A sandhill crane in flight.

Conservation: Wildlife Management Migratory Bird Wetland Program


Wetlands are a declining resource in Montana; approximately one third of our original wetlands have been lost, primarily to draining and filling. Wetlands provide critical ecosystem functions important for our communities and our wildlife, including water purification, flood control, and groundwater recharge. They also provide critical foraging, brood-rearing, and migration habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-associated wildlife. Associated uplands provide important nesting habitat for waterfowl and contribute to the water quality and function of wetlands. The Migratory Bird Wetland Program is dedicated to conserving wetlands and associated uplands to benefit Montana’s wildlife, especially migratory birds, and enhance hunting and other compatible recreational opportunities.

Program Accomplishments

The Migratory Bird Wetland Program has been conserving Montana’s wetlands since 1985. Program accomplishments between 1985 and 2013 include:

  • Restoration, enhancement, or creation of 633 wetlands (5,162 acres)
  • Management actions to enhance wetland-associated grasslands on 9,807 acres
  • Permanent protection of 3,700 acres of previously unprotected wetlands and associated grasslands

 Download and view larger image of Wetlands Project Locations Overview 

Advisory Council

The Wetlands Protection Advisory Council was established in 1985 through MCA 2-15-3405. The Council is responsible for reviewing and advising FWP on funding proposals for the Montana Migratory Game Bird Hunting License Program. These funds are earmarked for the protection, conservation, and development of wetlands in Montana. Members must include representatives of Montana migratory game bird hunters, nonconsumptive users of wildlife, and the agricultural industry. Council members will also be involved with establishing and periodically updating a plan for implementing the program.Learn more

  • Billings

Jim Moreland

4055 Rimrock Road
Billings, MTI 59106

Term: Ongoing


  • Bozeman

Tammy Swinney

215 W. Mendenhall
Suite 300
Bozeman, MT 59715

Term: Ongoing


Steve Laufenberg

41 Gardner Park Drive
Bozeman, MT 59715

Term: Ongoing


  • Chinook

Gordon Henry

1090 Gordon Cattle Lane
Chinook, MT 59523

Term: Ongoing


  • Kalispell

Gary Moses

684 Jackson View Trail
Kalispell, MT 59901

Term: Ongoing

Program Overview and Guidance


Heather Harris

(406) 808-7113


About the Program


The Migratory Bird Stamp Act, enacted by the Montana Legislature in 1985, authorizes the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to use funds from migratory bird hunting licenses “…for the protection, conservation, and development of wetlands in Montana.” A citizen-based Wetland Protection Advisory Council provides program oversight.