Basin Commission executive director terminated

Print Article

After 12 years as the Flathead Basin Commission’s executive director, Caryn Miske has been terminated.

She shared the news with commission members and affiliates in an email Friday afternoon. Miske’s termination leaves the 35-year-old water-oversight group without an executive director.

On Miske’s watch, the commission fought to protect the Flathead River’s headwaters from coal mining pollution in British Columbia, and led Northwest Montana’s effort to stop the spread of invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

But over the past year, the commission has faced multiple setbacks, which some have seen as politically motivated. Various state agencies opposed a pilot program it crafted to inspect incoming boats; funding for Miske’s salary was mostly cut in November’s special session; three months ago, Miske was placed on administrative leave, then terminated on Feb. 26.

John Grassy, public information officer for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, declined to comment on the reasons for Miske’s termination. Jack Potter, one of the commission’s citizen members, said that the status of the executive director position moving forward is “a little uncertain.”

“We don’t have any funding to fill it right now,” he told the Daily Inter Lake, explaining that more funding would have to wait until next year’s legislative session.

In the meantime, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation may take on some of the administrative duties previously held by the Basin Commission, although Grassy said that no firm plans have been made. Potter said that the group would miss Miske’s fundraising efforts.

In her email, Miske thanked the commission’s fellow members for their work, writing that “our accomplishments over the past 12 years provide a legacy of which we can be proud.”

Last week, the Basin Commission passed a motion stating that it would reassess its role in the fight against invasive mussels. Miske cautioned that “extreme vigilance will be needed if we are to successfully keep mussels from crossing the Continental Divide,” and reminded recipients that the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, which administers the commission, “is not legally entitled to set the programmatic policy” for the agency.

“It will be difficult to run programs without significant funding,” she predicted, adding that “one of the few tools left at your disposal will be the integrity, credibility and independence the FBC can provide.”

Miske could not be reached for further comment.

Reporter Patrick Reilly can be reached at preilly@dailyinterlake.com, or at 758-4407.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Developer proposes wellness facility for 95 Karrow

December 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The developer of the 95 Karrow mixed-use project on the former Idaho Timber property in Whitefish is asking for an amendment to accommodate a wellness facility on the site. The Whitefish Planning Bo...

Comments

Read More

Judge gives county deadline for decision on Egan Slough zoning

December 17, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Daily Inter Lake Flathead County officials have until Dec. 31 to decide whether Montana Artesian Water Co. is in violation of the Egan Slough Zoning District regulations for operating its Creston water bottling plant...

Comments

Read More

Flathead rebounds, takes first at Helena tourney

December 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Daily Inter Lake Flathead High School Speech and Debate prevailed at the Helena City of Gold tournament over the weekend. Flathead earned 186 overall points, surpassing Bozeman’s 156, for the win. Glacier High Sc...

Comments

Read More

Fire destroys camper, damages home

December 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Daily Inter Lake A large camper all but melted into a puddle and an adjacent home was heavily damaged in a fire on First Avenue South in Hungry Horse Monday afternoon. No one was injured in the blaze. Neighbors said...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2018 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X