Montana Forest and Conservation

Experiment Station (Academic Policy 103.o)

     Senate Recommendation

A. Written Report Summary:

1.     Purpose:  The purpose of the MFCES is scientific investigation of natural resource problems and issues. It seeks to enhance public understanding of forestry and conservation and to contribute to the wise use of timber, water, range, wildlife and recreation resources. The MFCES was created by an act of the Montana Legislature in 1937 as a statutory agency. The MFCES is obligated to carry out research in the below areas which is reviewed and authorized every biennium by the Montana Legislature.

2.     Objectives:   Seeks to conduct and disseminate research on natural resource topics with the following emphasis: Natural resource management, Natural resource education, and Social and economic development of Montana and the Rocky Mountain West.

3.     Anticipated activities:  Research is administered and conducted in the following areas:

a.     Modeling and Management Information Systems

b.    Fire Ecology and Management

c.     Silviculture and Stand Management

d.    Wildlife Ecology and Management

e.     Water Riparian, and Wetland Resources

f.     Recreation, Tourism, Wilderness, and Protected Areas

g.    Economics, Management, and Policy

4.     Other organizations involved:  MFCES is directly linked to The College of Forestry and Conservation at The University of Montana. The MFCES also has a reporting and funding relationship to the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) as a recipient of Cooperative Forestry Research Funds (McIntire-Stennis funds).

5.     Reporting line: The Director of the MFCES reports to the Provost of The University of Montana. Activities are also reported to the Montana Legislature.

6.     Relationships with institutional mission and contribution to academic programs: Relates to the instructional, research, and outreach components of the mission of the University. Most faculty members of the College of Forestry and Conservation hold joint appointments in the MFCES and all of their research activities are administered by the MFCES. The center is heavily involved with graduate thesis and dissertation projects and research activities are included in the courses and field activities of the College.

7.     Similar programs: None

8.    Budget: See Center Review Budget Form.

B. Review and Approval Process
2.  The Faculty Senate through its Chair, who in turn shall distribute it to ECOS and other committees, and approve or disapprove the proposal by a vote of the Senate.

Review in terms of Scope as stated in academic policy 100.0
To provide instruction, scholarship, or service to the University, state or world by:  (1) focusing attention on an area of strength and/or addressing a critical issue, or (2) facilitating collaborative, multi-disciplinary endeavors to combine resources from several programs or institutions to address issues of common interest.

Review in terms of the University's mission.

§   Comments:

§   Does ECOS/Faculty Senate consider this center controversial? No.

§   Is the relationship with academic units beneficial? Yes, especially graduate programs.

§   Is the program revenue neutral or does it consume more resources than it generates? If so, is the use of University resources justified?  The program is well funded for the next five years.

§   Is the entity making progress toward objectives? Yes

Recommendation: Approve the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station for another five years.
Justification: The MFCES has been on campus since 1937 and is partially funded by the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The Center is a statutory agency of Montana and has been maintaining satisfactory levels of sustainable funding.