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Fish and Wildlife Commission to hold public hearing on motorized use on the Boulder River

Commission

Friday, November 20, 2020

HELENA – The Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing via a telephonic Zoom platform on Nov. 30, at 2 p.m., to consider a proposed rule closing the Boulder River from its headwaters to its confluence with the Yellowstone River, and all its tributaries, to all motorized watercraft. The Boulder River is in Park and Sweet Grass counties.

At their Oct. 22 meeting, the commission held a public meeting to hear the citizen petition, and listened to the arguments of both petitioners and those who do not want to see the closure.  To further inform the discussion, the commission initiated a rulemaking and public comment period.  The petition references safety concerns with jet boats that can operate at high rates of speed even when stream flows are very low. It states that the Boulder River is a small river with many blind turns and narrow channels, and motorized boats moving up and down the river at high rates of speed create a public health hazard for boaters and other users, including the dangerous possibility of collisions between a jet boat and irrigation equipment, livestock, anglers, swimmers, and recreational floaters on inner tubes and rafts.

To view the proposal notice and submit written comments online, please visit http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/rules/.

Public comment will be taken during the public hearing. Written data, views or arguments may also be submitted to: Phil Kilbreath, FWP Enforcement Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or e-mailed to pkilbreath@mt.gov. Comments must be received no later than Dec. 4, 2020.

To participate in the telephonic public hearing, call 1-646-558-8656, enter the meeting number: 917 4172 8506, followed by the password: 600214.