Contact Us

Montana FWP Lawsuit Questions Procedures to Close Bitterroot River Diversion Dam

Bitterroot River
Photo courtesy of Montana FWP

A lawsuit has been filed in Ravalli County against Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for using an emergency process to close down a section of the Bitteroot River and not giving the public time to weigh in on the decision.

FWP Regional Fisheries Manager Pat Saffel said FWP did the right thing:

“We do think we went through the proper procedures,” Saffel said. “There’s an emergency closure procedure for us and we were just in a spot where we had attempted several other measures that hadn’t closed that section of river. It just got to the point where that was the only other option we had left.”

The river was shut down because of a diversion dam that had caused three accidents this year and a death last summer. Saffel said an assessment was completed this week and a request for grant money will be sent to the state legislature Thursday. However, it will take a while before the diversion dam can be replaced.

“Well, the legislature is 2015, so that’s an early winter through late spring timeline. We wouldn’t really have word until sometime then,” Saffel said. “2015, I think, we would be fortunate to get going, but I think it might be 2016.”

The total cost of the project will be around $400,000 to $500,000.

Pat Saffel:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Best of KLYQ

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KLYQ Club VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KLYQ Club VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.