Trustees Open 30-day Public Comment Period on Draft Wetlands/Riparian Areas Plan for Contamination in the Clark Fork River Basin, Montana

Last edited 09/03/2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in coordination with the State of Montana is seeking public comment on the State of Montana’s draft Wetlands/Riparian Areas Plan, which is designed to help address wetland and riparian area loss related to mining and smelting-related contamination in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB), Montana. The draft Wetlands/Riparian Areas Plan was prepared as part of the Streamside Tailings Operable Unit and Federal and Tribal Natural Resource Damages Consent Decree (SST CD) entered in 1999. 

Paragraph 22 of the SST CD requires the State to develop, in consultation with the Service, the State Wetlands/Riparian Areas Plan.  Paragraph 22 requires the State to create in the UCFRB up to 400 acres of any combination of the following: newly constructed wetlands or restoration of destroyed wetlands, enhancement of existing wetlands, or enhancement of riparian areas on or along the Clark Fork River or its tributaries. In fulfilling the requirements of Paragraph 22, the State is not required to incur more than $3.2 million in wetlands/riparian areas restoration costs, as that term is defined in the SST CD.

Under the draft plan, the State intends to implement wetland and riparian area projects in two separate areas: the Milltown area, and the Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The State-owned Milltown property is a 450 acre parcel located upstream of the former Milltown Dam approximately four miles east of Missoula, Montana.  The Spotted Dog WMA is located east of Garrison, Montana, Montana between Highway 12 and Interstate 90. Riparian areas to be addressed within the WMA include 4 ½ miles of Spotted Dog Creek and 4 miles of Trout Creek. 

Today’s announcement opens a 30 day comment period, which ends on August 10, 2018.

Review the draft Wetlands/Riparian Areas Plan.

Comments may be sent by e-mail to, or by mail to:

Karen Nelson
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Montana Field Office
585 Shephard Way, Suite 1
Helena, MT 59601

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