FWP Seeks Input on Closure Rule Related to Upper Clark Fork River Cleanup
By angelamontana

Posted: August 14, 2018

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking input on a biennial rule that would allow for a safety-related closure of a 2.6 mile stretch of the Clark Fork River near Deer Lodge while cleanup of contaminated soils in the area continues.

If approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the closure would be in place for approximately two years, beginning in October 2018, and would apply to the Clark Fork River that flows through the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, northwest of Deer Lodge.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is conducting a multi-year effort to remove contaminated soils in the streambanks and historic floodplain of the Upper Clark Fork River drainage.  This work is important to restore water quality and fish populations in the Clark Fork drainage.

The Grant Kohrs Ranch area is the next phase of the project, and public safety is a concern, due to heavy equipment working in the area.The proposed closure would include all public occupation and recreation–including, but not limited to, floating, swimming, wading, and boating.  FWP may reopen the river section before October 2020 if DEQ indicates conditions are safe.

Comments on the proposed rule are due by September 11, 2018 and can be submitted online at fwp.mt.gov under “Submit Public Comments,” then “Commission,” and “Public Notices—Rules;” by emailing shrose@mt.gov; or by mail to Region 2 FWP, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804. 

(via MT FWP)