FWP Seeks Comment on Temporary Clark Fork River and WMA Closure near Warm Springs Ponds
By angelamontana

Posted: April 18, 2013

(photo courtesy of opportunitymontana.wordpress.com)

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would temporarily close a nearly two-mile stretch of the Clark Fork River near Warm Springs Ponds and a small portion of the neighboring Warm Springs Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The proposed closure would address public safety concerns while construction crews work to remove toxic sediment on Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) property as part of the Clark Fork Superfund cleanup project.

The river closure would begin approximately three quarters of a mile below the Warm Springs Pond 2 Discharge Parking Lot and extend for 1.75 miles downstream. The proposal also calls for closing a 10-acre portion of the adjacent Warm Springs WMA, including a portion of its eastern access road, to allow room for heavy equipment to work safely.

An emergency closure rule has been in place for the 10-acre portion of WMA and 1.75 miles of river since March 29, 2013 to address immediate public safety concerns. The proposed rule would allow the closure to be in effect for one year but could be lifted sooner if construction no longer presents a public safety concern.

For a complete copy of the proposed closure rule, contact the Missoula FWP office at 406-542-5500. To comment, write to Region 2 FWP, Attn: Clark Fork/Warm Springs, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804; or email shrose@mt.gov. Comments must be received by FWP no later than 5pm on May 10, 2013.

(Report by Vivaca Crowser – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Region 2)

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