Tuesday, May 30, 2023

New weather station constructed at Bison Range

by CSKT Natural Resources
| May 25, 2023 12:00 AM

The CSKT Bison Range and the Montana Climate Office have teamed up to construct a new Montana Mesonet weather station behind the CSKT Bison Range Visitor Center.

This collaboration – funded by the Native Drought Resilience project through a grant by NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System – will bring updated information to the Flathead Reservation’s Natural Resources Department and the agricultural community to help support both rangeland and conservation management.

The new 30-foot tower is self-contained, powered through a solar panel and communicates via cellular connection. The footprint is 20-by-30 feet with no permanent construction. Instead of concrete, the structure is anchored to the ground by a large screw system.

The Mesonet station records temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, solar radiation, soil moisture at depths down to a meter, and snow depth. Environmental information is updated every five minutes.

This station will improve weather, soil moisture, and snow pack monitoring across the Flathead Reservation and will be available to both professional resource managers and interested valley producers via an internet portal (mesonet.climate.umt.edu/dash/).

The station not only will assist Bison Range managers and help meet CSKT’s climate resilience goals, but also will help inform the surrounding valley residents with the up-to-date information and planning for each year’s agricultural season.

Educational signage will soon be placed on the walking path behind the Bison Range Visitor Center to explain what the station does and its importance for meeting the Tribes’ future planning goals.

For more information, contact Shannon Clairmont (shannon.clairmont@cskt.org) or Kyle Bocinsky (kyle.bocinksy@umt.edu).

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