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Missoula Measures
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Why This Measure?

Missoula Measures provides succinct information on scores of topics helpful to maintaining and building a more healthy, sustainable community and region. The topics are divided into four categories and material has been collected and condensed with a specific audience in mind- interested residents of Missoula, Montana, those living in the Clark Fork Watershed, and anyone else with interests in this region. Built from the work and thinking of thousands of people and organizations, this site is intended to be a good place to start when you are looking for pertinent information related to a community or regional concern. We envision advocates, organizations, agencies, grantwriters, UM students, high school students, and others using the site, and the material providing a reliable resource to inform and assist policymaking deliberations. Another use is for various groups to pull information for future indicator reports.

This website grew out of a community indicators project initiated by Missoula city and county government in 1998-1999.  Send feedback and suggestions about any Measures to Lorena Hillis, Missoula City-County Health Dept.

Links to More Indicator Project Background

The story behind Missoula Measures

In September 1994, the Health Profile Task Force, appointed by the Health Board, defined a set of 25 key benchmarks that the community should track. They had just completed a review of a report on the health of Missoula called the "Health Profile", a broad collection of data compiled by the local Health Dept in 1993. The task force wanted these 25 benchmarks to be reported simply, clearly, and routinely to the community as a mechanism to help build a healthier, sustainable community. At about the same time, the Growth Management Task Force was formed (a small, facilitated group of city and county leaders) and started wrestling with growth-related issues. Missoula was experiencing intense growth, common to many Rocky Mountain West communities. That group decided one useful tool would be a set of measures that would tell whether we were gaining or losing ground in maintaining what we think is special and important about Missoula. Those two efforts merged into Missoula Measures. Hundreds of citizens have helped select, review, and edit these indicators, and the process continues.

You Can Smell Measures in the Air

Missoula’s air quality provides a good example of how indicators can work. Over the past 20 years, Missoulians have worked hard to reduce pollution in our inversion-prone airshed. In the mid-70s, measures such as TSP (total suspended particulate) became central to establishing baselines and measuring progress. Goals for clean air were directly linked with quantitative measures. These measures gave citizens and policy makers a touchstone that focused deliberations. When we didn’t make enough progress toward lower levels of pollutants, policies were further adjusted. One of the Missoula Measures is air quality, and it shows significant progress over the past 15 years.

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Indicator Project Oversight

Missoula Measures Oversight Team

Missoula City-County Board of Health

Growth Management Task Force (1996-97 during genesis of Missoula Measures)

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