Wed Jan 18 15:07:00 MST 2012
The proposed project is located on Big Spring Creek about 1 mile south of Lewistown, MT at the Brewery Flats Fishing Access Site (FAS) The project would involve removal of sediment (gravel and silt) deposited at the interface between a new re-meandered channel constructed in 2000 and a channel straightened in 1912. Due to the deposition, the channel lost capacity and as a result, Big Spring Creek is spreading out and flooding the Brewery Flats FAS at base flow. Water is flooding a downstream outhouse, sections of trail and vegetation. To prevent channel migration and limit further impacts to infrastructure, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) proposes to dredge 100 yards in Big Spring Creek approximately 2 ft as it was in 2005. FWP proposes to hire a contractor to excavate the approximately 700 cubic yards of silt and gravel with a dump truck and excavator using best management practices. Excavated material would be removed off-site and deposited in an area away from wetlands. Equipment would access the site via the trail and road system. Failure to perform remediation work may result in a channel change at the location, resulting in significant adverse impacts to nearby infrastructure. The Environmental Assessment (EA) was placed on the FWP web site from November 15 to December 16, 2011. Seven written comments from individuals and one comment from an organization were submitted in support of the project as described. No negative comments were received in response to the EA. Based on the Environmental Assessment, public comment, and benefits and risks associated with this project, it is my decision there to be no significant impacts on the human and physical environments associated with this project and to proceed with FWP’s proposed alternative to dredge approximately 700 cubic yards of sediment from Big Spring Creek under wet conditions.