December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Montana: the state now owns the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers and the land currently occupied by the Milltown Superfund site.

Today, Gov. Brian Schweitzer signed off on a $13 million slate of Natural Resource Damage Program projects, including a $586,000 proposal to facilitate the state’s acquisition of more than 400 acres from the Northwestern Energy Company. The land transfer includes the confluence area and the Clark Fork flood plain above it and also the narrow strip along the Blackfoot River up to the pedestrian bridge in Milltown.

The proposal was submitted jointly by the Clark Fork Coalition and the Milltown Superfund Redevelopment Working Group, a community stakeholder body appointed by the Missoula County Commissioners to look at the Superfund site’s future. The Working Group has long advocated the creation of public park at the site once the cleanup and restoration work is complete. Earlier this year, the group developed a conceptual design plan for a state park. For more on other approved projects, see the NRDP’s press release (PDF).

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