Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Andi Bourne

Concerns raised over proposed removal of Elbow Lake dam


October 17, 2019

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

The current Elbow Lake dam as of Oct. 12: The dam currently exists as an unpermitted, artificial structure that has not been legally maintained since 2014. "I think it is a pretty gross misrepresentation to show the [weir] from when they intentionally bolstered it up because they had a green light and were allowed to bring in materials," said Elbow Lake lessee Greg Browning referring to the photos in the draft Environmental Assessment. "Now we are talking about a modest rock dam that keeps the lake full and where it has been for many, many years. If they remove that, we are certainly choked off from getting to the lake."

ELBOW LAKE – Residents on Elbow Lake are facing what they feel is an inevitable decision by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to remove and remediate the Elbow Lake dam.

While some property owners and lessees feel this will negatively impact the ecosystem, recreation opportunities and property values for years to come, the Draft Environmental Assessment released Sept. 30 proposes the project is necessary to remove the unauthorized, artificial structure in the lower mainstem of the Clearwater River. The proposed alternative...

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