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Montana State Parks News

Mon Sep 30 16:54:00 MDT 2013

Montana State Parks News - Region 4

(Great Falls, MT) – Montana State Parks ( announced today that public comment is sought on a draft environmental assessment host site improvement project at Eden Bridge of Smith River State Park. Eden Bridge is the take-out site for recreational floaters on the Smith River near Ulm. Approximately 5,000 people per year float the Smith River.

The proposed project is to improve the existing host site area that accommodates volunteer hosts during the primary float season each year. The hosts at Eden Bridge perform a variety of duties in support of Smith River State Park, including; site security for 60 plus vehicles and trailers shuttled to the site at any given time, assisting floaters exiting the river, collecting floater logs containing valuable user data, documenting incidents, etc.

The project would involve improving two gravel pads for the host sites (each approximately 35 ft x 12 ft), installing one shared underground water cistern, two underground septic holding tanks, relocating the existing phone and electricity pedestal, relocating the maintenance storage shed and relocating the entrance road. Currently, sewage storage is not available on-site, requiring hosts to drive their RV’s 50+ miles into Great Falls to dispose of their sewage at an approved dump station.

Providing the basic amenities of stable and level parking pads for the volunteer hosts as well as convenient and reliable electricity, water, sewer and phone will greatly enhance the ability to attract and maintain quality hosts for the long-term, ensuring a high-quality experience for floaters, as well as non-floating visitors.

The cost of this proposed project is estimated to be $17,000. The funds for the project are provided by the Parks’ Division major maintenance program.

To view the draft Environmental Assessment visit Public comments will be accepted for 30 days. Comments should be submitted by Thursday, October 31 at 5pm.
There are two ways the public can provide comments:
• Online at click on “public notices” on the right-hand navigation bar.
direct link here:
• Send written comments by mail to:
Smith River Host Pad EA Comments
4600 Giant Springs Rd. Great Falls, MT 59405
Attention: Colin Maas, Park Manager, Smith River State Park

The public should keep in mind that all information provided with a comment becomes part of a public record.
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A division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Colin Maas
Park Manager,
Smith River State Park
(406) 454-5857

Jennifer Lawson
Marketing and Communications Manager,
Montana State Parks
(406) 444-3818