By Nathan Bourne

Grizzly Drive Maintenance Update


December 21, 2017

SEELEY LAKE - Residents of Dogtown received an update on the issue of county road maintenance, or lack there of, at the Seeley Lake Community Council meeting Dec. 11. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Clearwater Unit Manager Kristen Baker-Dickinson gave the update.

The issue came to light in the summer of 2015 when Missoula County informed Dogtown residents who access their state lease properties via Grizzly Drive and Cub Lane that the county could no longer maintain those roads. The county stated that it could not use road tax dollars because there are no legal road easements. Because the roads are on State Trust Land, the county would be required to purchase easements in order to keep maintaining them. Also, the roads are not properly built to county specifications.

Last summer the DNRC acquired an easement across the private property where Grizzly Drive intersected with Riverview Drive. Grizzly Drive was relocated to the new easement and some of the “rather lake-like” sections of Grizzly Drive received some gravel.

The DNRC has requested the county to provide estimates and a topographical survey as to what it will take to bring the road up to a standard high enough for the county to reaccept maintenance and snowplowing duties. Baker-Dickinson is expecting to receive those estimates in the next couple of months.

Once estimates are received the DNRC can consider how and if it can move forward. Baker-Dickinson felt that bringing the roads up to county standards would probably be the biggest cost, not the purchase of road easements.

Baker-Dickinson remains optimistic that an agreement can be reached and the county will resume road maintenance. For this winter, neither the county nor the DNRC will be plowing snow.


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