University Relations and Communications

Regional water issues addressed in MSU Billings Urban Institute Water Forum

July 20, 2009



Chuck Tooley, Urban Institute, 896-5862
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Special guests include Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Sen. Max Baucus


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — With the Yellowstone River running through the heart of Billings, there is a constant, flowing reminder of the importance of water in our daily lives.


That daily importance — especially as it relates to the agricultural recreational, industrial and local government entities — will be the focus of the second annual Montana State University Billings Water Forum. The daylong H2O 09 forum will be held Monday, Aug. 10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Billings.


The forum, which will also feature special appearances by United States Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Sen. Max Baucus, is coordinated by the MSU Billings Urban Institute.  Registration is $65 per person. Seating is limited and the deadline for registrations is July 24. Registration after that date is $90 per person.


Chuck Tooley, director of the MSU Billings Urban Institute, said the forum is designed as a way to have important conversations between stakeholders.


“Growing populations and changing values have increased demands on water supplies and river systems, resulting in water use and water management conflicts throughout the West,” Tooley said. “In this area of Montana, the Yellowstone River affects every aspect of our lives, from out homes to our businesses, agriculture, conservation, industry and recreation. It is essential for us to consider the challenges we face in keeping the Yellowstone viable for future generations in all these important areas.”


Besides Salazar and Baucus, some of the participations include:

  • Steve Lackman, a farmer and Yellowstone County Extension Agent
  • John Bailey, a fly shop owner from Livingston
  • Dave Mumford, public works director from Billings
  • Don Youngbauer from the Yellowstone River Conservation District Council

In addition, Mary Sexton, director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Tom Osborne, president of HydroSolutions, Inc., will be attending to provide their perspectives on water issues.


Tooley said he hopes that at the end of the day, stakeholders can find some common ground and build new relationships centered on water issues.


For more information, contact Tooley at 896-5862.