Fish, Wildlife and Park officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to expand the visitor center parking lot and build a new maintenance garage at Ulm Pishkun State Park.
If approved construction would take about 90 days, starting near the end of March. Details of the proposal are in a draft environmental assessment (EA), which is out for public comment.
Currently, overflow parking takes place in a grass field adjacent to the existing parking lot. On wet days, the overflow area turns to mud. Also, the park lacks a maintenance garage to properly store vehicles, equipment and supplies and perform indoor maintenance work.
Ulm Pishkun lies about 12 miles west of Great Falls. At 1,428-acres, the park is one of the largest prehistoric bison kill sites in the United States. For more than 600 years, Indians stampeded buffalo over the mile-long cliff.
The top of the jump provides panoramic views of the Rocky Mountain Front, the Missouri River Valley, and the buttes and grasslands that characterize this High Plains setting. Visitor facilities in this day use park include a visitor center and interpretive trail.
Under the proposed expansion, the parking area would grow by about 16,500 square feet and would accommodate school buses and large RVs. The new maintenance garage would measure 1,200 square feet and would be designed to blend into the surrounding landscape. The improvements would take up about than half an acre.
To receive copies of the EA contact Roger Semler, FWP Region 4 parks manager at (406) 454-5859. Or visit FWP's Ulm Pishkun Construction Projects web page.
Comments on the EA will be accepted Jan. 30, 2006, through 5 p.m., Feb. 28, 2006. Comments may be sent by mail to: Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Ulm Pishkun Construction Projects EA, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls MT 59405.Comments may also be sent by email to Roger Semler.