Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is negotiating a new lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the continued operation of Hell Creek State Park on Fort Peck Reservoir north of Jordan.
The current 30-year lease between the two agencies expires in April 2021, but both parties are entering into new negotiations with an eye toward long-term operation of the state park and visitor facilities.
“Hell Creek State Park is a critical site for many Montanans and visitors to our state, with important access to Fort Peck Reservoir,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “We’ve made significant infrastructure improvements to the site and look forward to managing it as a state park for decades to come.”
Hell Creek State Park encompasses 337 acres of land that attracts heavy use seasonally, primarily for purposes of hunting, fishing and recreation on Fort Peck Reservoir. The park is an important access point for Fort Peck Lake, which boasts a diverse fishery and hundreds of miles of shoreline.
FWP also administers a private concessionaire contract that provides lodging, fuel, durable goods and other services.
In December, FWP completed improvements to the public water and wastewater systems at the park, including a stand-alone wastewater system for a fish-cleaning station. Both infrastructure improvements will greatly improve the visitor experience for years to come.
“We’re committed to Hell Creek State Park and to ensuring the services we provide there exceed visitor expectations,” said Angie Grove, FWP’s Parks and Recreation Board chair. “Working through a new lease with the Army Corps is a critical next step.”
The investment at Hell Creek State Park reflects a newly adopted classification policy to prioritize investments at Montana’s most popular and valued state parks. By reviewing state park resources across the Montana, the new classification policy will allow FWP to address public needs and expectations more effectively and set into motion short- and long-term investment efforts, build valuable partnerships and ensure sustainable management of the state park system.
“The new park classification policy will provide FWP direction in our management efforts as well as certainty to the public and partners about how we’re meeting our visitor needs throughout the park system,” said Beth Shumate, administrator for Montana State Parks.