December 14, 2006

The Montana Natural Resource Damage Program announced that Governor Brian Schweitzer has just approved five Clark Fork Basin projects for funding, including one that would build a new pedestrian bridge over the Blackfoot River in Milltown and remove several piers from the active river channel.

The NRD funds derive from interest on a trust fund that was the result of a state lawsuit against ARCO. Missoula County submitted a $975,000 project proposal with the recommendation of the Milltown Redevelopment Working Group. The project has received additional funds from the EPA. The $975,000 will also be used as a required match of $2.5 million in federal money that is slated to be used for a trail network in the Bonner to Turah area.
The Governor, following the recommendations of the NRD Advisory Council and Trustee Restoration Council, approved about $5 million in projects, including:

* Butte-Silver Bow City/County for the sixth year of the Butte Waterline project ($1,819,581)
* Deer Lodge Valley Conservation District for the Upper Little Blackfoot River Restoration project ($216,044)
* Anaconda-Deer Lodge City/County for the fifth year of the Anaconda Waterline project ($1,964,263)
* Montana Natural Heritage Program for a basin-wide wetland/riparian area mapping project ($71,400)

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