Governor Brian Schweitzer recently signed off on nine out of 12 Natural Resource Damage Program grants proposals.
In early February, Gov. Schweitzer approved without any modifcation these seven projects:
The Butte Waterline ($2,684,747) in its ninth year will receive to replace 18,152 feet of leaking waterline in Butte.
Big Hole Transmission Line will replace 15,000 feet of the leaking pipe that supplies drinking water to Butte. This is the 3rd year of a continuing waterline replacement project at a cost of $2,666,618
The Anaconda Waterline project ($1,988,478), in its 8th year of funding, will replace 8,800 feet of leaking waterline in Anaconda.
Warm Springs Ponds Recreational Improvements ($82,989) wiil update recreational and sanitary facilities at the Warm Spring Ponds Recreation area.
Moore Acquisition will spend $142,500 to acquire a 30 acre parcel located 7 miles west of Anaconda between the Blue-eye Nellie and Garrity Mountain wildlife management areas in order to protect a wildlife migration corridor and winter range wildlife habitat and to provide public recreational access.
Milltown Bridge Pier and Log Removal will use $262,177 to remove from the Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers six abandoned bridge piers, two bridge abutments, and 5000 mill logs that are in the Blackfoot channel.
Milltown/Two Rivers Recreational Facilities and Access ($2,663,749) will provide recreational access opportunities and protect the restored floodplain at and near the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers through the development of recreational access trails and user facilities, acquisition of 180 acres, and funding of initial operation and maintenance activities for a five year period.
Two other projects were approved with modifications:
Silver Bow Creek Greenway continues its 8th year of work with a $1.5 million (reduced from $2,336,914) grant to plan, design, and install restoration enhancements and recreational access features within the Silver Bow Creek corridor in coordination with remedial work conducted by DEQ in 2010-2012.
Bird's-eye View Education Project will receive $100,000 ( down from $172,946) to develop a two-year program on bird communities associated with riparian ecosystems in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin.
Three applications are still under review:
Peterson Ranch Conservation Easement will receive $334,125 to secure a perpetual conservation easement on the 3,755 acre Peterson Ranch, located southwest of Drummond, in order to protect wildlife habitat, riparian habitat, native grassland vegetation, recreational opportunities, and aquatic resources.
Paracini Pond Acquisition ($1,184,205) contingent on negotiations, would purchase a 272 acre parcel near Racetrack to develop public fishing access to of the Clark Fork River (6000 feet of frontage) and the Paracini Pond. It would also facilitate restoration of the Clark Fork River floodplain.
East Fork Rock Creek ($370,000) will enhance trout populations in the East Fork of River Creek by providing for fish passage at the East Fork Reservoir, which supplies the Flint Creek irrigation canal, through a fish screen/flow regimen they would allow fish to bypass the canal diversion.
Also see the Missoulian for additional coverage.