Brett French reports: Hebgen Lake businesses complain about low water year
By angelamontana

Posted: January 6, 2022

Businesses along the shores of Hebgen Lake have filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding low lake elevations this summer. The businesses, supported by their users’ letters, argue that NorthWestern Energy should have done a better job of preserving lake levels beginning with spring runoff. FERC oversees NorthWestern’s license to operate Hebgen Lake Dam. Due to the low water, the businesses lost customers and incurred expenses, they argue. They are also calling for a review of the dam operations considering that such dry years could be more common in the future. The complaints come at the same time that a coalition of environmental groups is lobbying FERC to enact more stringent standards on NorthWestern following the dewatering of the Madison River at the end of November when a dam gate failed. To learn more about the issues, check out my story at

Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor | Billings Gazette Communications

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