DOJ: News Release

Watershed Restoration Meeting October 8

HELENA – Montana’s Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) will hold a public meeting to discuss future restoration of the land and water resources of the Silver Bow Creek Watershed Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Copper King in Butte. Individuals and groups interested in the present and future of Silver Bow Creek are encouraged to attend. The Silver Bow Creek Watershed includes areas around Butte and Anaconda including Blacktail Creek, German Gulch, Sand Creek, Browns Gulch, Mill Creek and Willow Creek.

Carol Fox, Restoration Program Chief with the NRDP, said the purpose of the meeting is to discuss current watershed conditions, needs and priorities. “We hope to clarify participants’ values for and visions of Silver Bow Creek and discuss the Silver Bow Creek Watershed Restoration Plan and the opportunities it presents for future restoration,” she said. “We also look forward to additional public feedback on watershed concerns and priorities.”

NRDP will direct the project, which seeks to formulate a watershed restoration plan for Silver Bow Creek. The project focuses on fish and wildlife resources and associated recreational resources of the Silver Bow Creek Watershed from the west end of Butte at the confluence of Blacktail Creek to Warm Springs Ponds. Contamination problems in the Butte area, including storm water runoff from upper Butte and the shallow groundwater contamination in lower Butte, will not be addressed, as they remain the subjects of pending litigation and Superfund cleanup decisions.

NRDP and a multidisciplinary team of consulting scientists will develop the restoration plan and public involvement is an essential component of the watershed restoration planning process, Fox said.

“In the past few months, we have met with representatives of more than 25 entities that have knowledge about or interest in the Silver Bow Creek watershed. At this meeting, we’ll report what we’ve heard from those folks and hopefully obtain additional public input,” Fox said. “We’d like to hear what area residents would like to see the Silver Bow Creek watershed look like 15 or 30 years from now.”

Fox said public input to conduct vision-oriented planning spurred the start of the process.

“With remediation efforts well underway, the time is right for a community-based, watershed-wide approach to better understand desired future conditions, restoration opportunities and potential, and establish restoration goals and priorities for Silver Bow Creek,” she said.

For more information or to submit written comments, contact Kathy Coleman of the Natural Resource Damage Program at 444-0205 or nrdp@mt.gov.

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