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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Landowners urged to plan ahead for stream-modification projects

HELENA, Mont. – With this year’s high potential for spring flooding, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is encouraging residents who live on or near a river or stream to familiarize themselves with the stream-permitting process, including the types of permits they may need before starting a stream project.

Stream-modification projects undertaken as an immediate response to flooding require an Emergency Form 275. Landowners must contact their local Conservation District within 15 days of taking the emergency action and submit the completed Emergency Form. This permit is not required before any project activity begins. 

To qualify as an emergency action, Montana law states the project must be the result of an “unforeseen event or combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action to safeguard life, including human or animal, or property, including growing crops, without giving time for the deliberate exercise of judgement or discretion …”

The 310 permit is needed for any non-emergency streambed or streambank modification project. The 310 Joint Application can take up to 60 days to complete; landowners planning a project for spring should contact their local Conservation District well in advance of the planned starting date to get the permitting process started.

For routine projects undertaken every year, such as cleaning out an irrigation diversion, landowners can apply for a Maintenance Permit through their local Conservation District. These permits are good for up to ten years.

For more information on stream permitting, contact your local Conservation District, or the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at (406) 444-4340.