Gardiner, MT -June 2, 2023 — Wetland restoration work on the recently acquired 583 acres of land, obtained through a land exchange completed in 2019, will commence on June 5th, 2023, by Forest Service contractors. The area known as Slip and Slide will undergo construction to remove the remaining dams that have been drained.
On the property, there were three ponds contained by dams that were considered hazardous; the bodies of water were home to the aquatic invasive Curly-leaf Pondweed. Consequently, the first priority of the agency was to drain these ponds over the last couple of years to remove the risk of failure and risk of Curly-leaf Pondweed entering the Yellowstone River. That task has been completed, and we are moving on to the next step to recreate and enhance wetlands.
The goal of the project is to create a passive wetland system that provides high-quality habitat by creating and retaining wetland structures and providing areas for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife to flourish. Construction activity will include heavy equipment traveling continuously through the area, resulting in a closure of the area.
“We are thrilled to continue developing this project, creating a wonderful recreational space for forest users while supporting the growth of wetland and wildlife habitats, ” said Mike Thom, District Ranger for the Gardiner Ranger District. “With the presence of heavy machinery in the vicinity, it is necessary we close parts of the area to the public for safety and project efficiency.”
The completion of this project will result in a new wetland environment and a corridor for elk and other wildlife. Such efforts will contribute to the enhancement of public access, recreational activities, wildlife observation, and hunting. The project is anticipated to last throughout the 2023 summer, with completion in the fall.
For additional information on the closure please contact the Gardiner Ranger District at 406-848-7375, or watch our Facebook Video describing the project: https://fb.watch/kVXPWzQ53E/.