Former Flathead Basin Commission director appeals firing

Joshua Murdock

The former executive director of the Flathead Basin Commission has appealed a lawsuit over her 2018 firing from the role to the Montana Supreme Court. 

Caryn Miske oversaw the commission as executive director from 2006 until her termination on Feb. 26, 2018. The Flathead Basin Commission (FBC) coordinates between state, local, federal, tribal, Canadian and nonprofit entities that have a stake in protecting Flathead Basin water quality.

The commission was formed by the Montana Legislature in 1983 and is attached to the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for administrative purposes, such as financial oversight and budgeting. 

Mark Bostrom, a DNRC administrator, fired Miske. In a termination letter, Bostrom wrote, “your long-term efforts to distance yourself from the department and your failure to conduct yourself as a state employee of the department have disrupted agency activities for far too long.” The letter cited financial mismanagement on Miske’s behalf as a justification for her firing. 

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In her lawsuit, filed in 2019 against the DNRC, Miske argued that the firing was illegal retaliation for her lobbying legislators to increase the FBC’s budget. The Missoulian reported then that the

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