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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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Environmental Documents


This web page contains all DNRC environmental documents posted in the last 30 days. To access older documents, visit the Legislative Services Search Index.

How to find DNRC Environmental Documents (pdf)

Coal, Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals

Nothing new in the last 90 days.

Coal and Coal Bed Natural Gas (CBNG)

Nothing new in the last 90 days.

Oil and Gas

Spider Monkey #1 2018-08-03
Alta Vista Oil Corporation plans to drill a Charles Formation test, 6,000’ TD. The location is in core Sage Grouse habitat and requires sage grouse approval.

Rock Creek 8-21 Nelson 2018-08-03
Single derrick drilling rig to drill to 2900’ TD, Cut Bank Formation.

Kendrick Heirs 13-32 2018-07-17
Briscoe Petroleum, LLC plans to drill a 6,000’ MD/TVD oil well with objective formations being the Tensleep and Amsden. Surface casing to be set at 300’.

Burlington 35-1 2018-07-17
Ballard Exploration Company, Inc plans to drill a Heath formation test. 3,000’MD/TVD.

Coral Creek Unit MC44-09SH 2018-07-17
Denbury Onshore plans to drill a horizontal well into the Mission Canyon Formation 12,729’ MD / 7,193’ TVD. Surface casing to be set at 2,000’ and cemented to surface.
II.

Coral Creek Unit MC44-09NH 2018-07-17
Denbury Onshore plans to drill a horizontal well into the Mission Canyon Formation 12,869’ MD / 7,206’ TVD. Surface casing to be set at 2,000’ and cemented to surface.

Other Minerals

DNRC Exploration 2018-09-12
The proponent has submitted a Permit to Test for Aggregate to the DNRC to explore for aggregate resources to provide material for future sale and Trust Land revenue. The Dillon Unit and Minerals Management Bureau staff have conducted a field review on the project on July 25, 2018.

Mikes Brothers, LLC 2018-09-04
Mikes Brothers, LLC has requested to conduct excavation of gravel test holes on the State Trust land mentioned above. This project would utilize a backhoe to dig holes to a depth of up to 20 feet in depth and backfill the holes once they have been evaluated. The proposed test pits are located in an area of high gravel demand.

Monture Borrow Pit 2018-08-24
Removal of approximately 300 cubic yards of pit run from an existing borrow pit and reshaping of the pit.

Fisher Sand and Gravel Railroad Ballast Test Drill
Fisher Sand and Gravel is proposing to test a rock outcropping in Hill county for its suitability as railroad ballast. The testing will be done with a small drill rig on top of the ridge.

Conservation

Nothing new in the last 30 days.


Forestry

Forest Management/Forest Practices

Nothing new in the last 30 days.

Forest Management Activity

Sheep Gap TRUP 2018-08-22
The DNRC Plains Unit is considering a request from the Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District for a Temporary Road Use Permit (TRUP) to haul approximately 1.0 MMBF of sawlogs on existing roads, in State Lands Section 22, Township 20N, Range 27W from USFS properties involved in the Sheep Gap Fire Salvage project

Timber Sales

Timber Sales up for Bid Additional Timber Sale Information
Timber Sales Results

Land Use/Land Use Licenses

WBI Road Use 2018-09-18
The WBI Energy Transmission Inc. (henceforth referred to as proponent) has filed an application with the DNRC for the purpose utilizing an existing two track road for the purposes of access to a pipeline reconditioning project on deeded land to the west of this tract of state trust land. The two-track road use requested is for approximately one mile of existing two track o road located in the S2 and the NW4 of the section.

Mid-Yellowstone Sarpy Substation Access Road 2018-09-18
The Proponent has applied to the DNRC Southern Land Office (SLO) for a Land Use License to permit the construction of a new access road to an existing substation that is located on private land immediately west of the Trust land. The portion of the road on Trust land would be ±520’ long and 12’ wide, encompassing approximately 0.14± acres. The proposed project area is generally located at the intersection of Montana Highway 384 and Horse Creek Road and the new road is proposed to go due west from that intersection.

2018-09-14_lul_Hydra Montana Temporary Pump Site 2018-09-14
Hydra Montana, LLC (Henceforth referred to as proponent) has requested to install a temporary pump site and temporary water pipeline upon state owned trust land. This pump site and pipeline would be used to provide temporary water for several nearby proposed oil well drilling projects. The anticipated length of temporary pipeline on the tract is approximately 4000 feet. The expected duration of use of this license is expected to be 25 days per project on average, with the proponent removing the equipment when not in use. The proposed license would be written for a period of 2 years, with actual use periods varying.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative Road Improvement and Use 2018-09-12
Basin Electric Power Cooperative has filed a petition with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and conservation to improve and utilize an existing two track road for the purposes of maintaining an existing electrical line.

Roger Lothspeich Riprap Revetment 2018-09-12
Roger Lothspeich has requested that the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation give permission to install riprap revetment on approximately 270 feet of the southeast bank of the Yellowstone river.

Land Banking Sales

Nothing new in the last 30 days.

Land Sales

Nothing new in the last 30 days.

Land Exchanges

Nothing new in the last 30 days.

Agriculture

Streeter Cross Fence 2018-09-18
Trenton Streeter has requested to build a fence approximately 1/2 miles long cross fence on state lease 9754. The purpose of the fence is to allow more options in the timing of grazing by separating the ag fields from the rest of the tract.

Wickens Small Volume Permit - Borrow Material 2018-09-13
Wickens Construction is proposing to supply borrow material from a State surface tract located in the vicinity of a Montana Department of Transportation emergency road reconstruction project. The Minerals Management Bureau has conducted an EA Checklist analyzing three different locations to dig test holes to test borrow material in order to find the best location to excavate.

Wolverine Creek Recreation Management Plan Changes 2018-09-12
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Dillon Unit is proposing changes to the existing Recreational Use Rules in the Wolverine Creek drainage of the Centennial Valley. The Wolverine Creek drainage has approximately 7,545 acres of state trust land that is accessible to the public for recreational use. The area receives substantial use during Montana’s general big game hunting season. Over the past few years the DNRC with help from MT Fish Wildlife and Parks wardens has increased enforcement activities in the Wolverine Creek area including constructing barriers on closed roads, putting up signs and kiosk’s, and patrolling the area during the first two weeks of the hunting season. This increased enforcement has caused hunter, lessee, and agency conflict. Many of the state Recreation Use Laws are not being followed. This includes camping for more than the allowed 2-day limit, driving on closed roads, driving through private property, having campfires at camps and the destruction of signs, barriers and kiosk’s. Conflicts with the lessee, include gates being left open, livestock possibly being shot, and destruction of gates and fences.

Due to these events, and similar behavior in other areas of the Dillon Unit, a decision was made to start a working group in SW Montana to try and address recreational use issues and the increasing frustration people felt with travel management and hunter ethics in the area. Several open meetings were held, and the Beaverhead Working Group was formed to give public input to agency representatives on the conflicts that are occurring out on the ground. The first three meetings were held in the spring of 2018 at the Dillon Unit office with a diverse group of interested parties. Sportsmen, ranchers, lessees, agency representatives, user groups, and elected officials attended all three of the meetings. The purpose of the working group is to find solutions to issues that are occurring on public and private lands in SW Montana due to recreational use.

On June 30, 2018 a group of interested sportsmen (about 30), the state land lessees, ranchers, interest groups and agency representatives met for a field trip to discuss ways to resolve conflicts in the Wolverine Creek drainage. The collaborative nature of the tour allowed for free conversation amongst the group, with each group expressing their concerns and suggestions for change. Several changes to the travel management in the area were proposed, including opening closed roads and closing open roads, in addition 2 camping areas were looked at for allowing hunters to use the areas for up to 16 consecutive days. Because of the field trip and consensus between the sportsmen, ranchers, lessees and agency representatives the following proposed changes are being evaluated in this Environmental Assessment;

1. Designate two locations in the Wolverine Creek Area as legally available for camping on DNRC lands for up to 16 consecutive days. DNRC would permit campfires in these areas if fire restrictions allow. These spots would be signed and designated on the ground and marked on a GIS layer map.
2. Close the currently open road through Section 15. This road is not often used and traverses relatively easy terrain from the County road. Further, closing the road will provide significant space between open roads to the east and west. Last, the road leaves the County Road through a wire gate in a continuous fence. This means that it will be much easier to effectively close and monitor and is likely to be a successful closure.
3. Open the Road known as the “Jack Thomas Road” beginning in Section 16 to the forest boundary.
4. Open the upper road in Section 1 from its intersection with the BLM Wolverine Creek Road north to an existing fence and a good parking and turnaround area.

Mitigations
1. Place the two kiosks purchased by the Centennial Valley Association, one at the main Wolverine Creek Road and one at the bottom of the “Jack Thomas Road”. These kiosks are currently being built by DNRC of materials donated by the Centennial Valley Association.
2. Include maps and information on these kiosks which stresses the cooperative nature of these efforts and provides accurate information in clear concise and welcoming format.
3. Sign and lock the closed road in section 15 with accurate information pointing to the roads which ARE open.
4. Gate the road heading to Santana Ranch property from the Northwest corner of Section 13. This gate should be accompanied by a sign explaining which roads are available instead. Santana Ranch offered to contribute time and equipment in this effort, this offer should be accepted.
5. Ensure that the two newly open roads are clearly marked and blocked at or before the Forest Boundary to prevent the newly opened roads from encouraging trespass on to the Forest.
6. Request that FWP wardens make this area an enforcement priority in 2018.
7. Talk with Madison Ranger District to have them re-enforce the closures along the FS boundary.

Ag Reserves Stock Well 2018-09-12
The surface lessee AgReserves Inc wishes to drill a well on the above mentioned tract of State Trust Land and has filed the appropriate improvement form. The purpose of this well is to provide a more reliable water source for livestock on this section.

Front Range LLC Pipeline Easement Application 2018-08-28
Front Range Pipeline LLC has requested to install a new 16” crude oil pipeline across the Teton River. The pipeline will replace their old pipeline which is currently only 4-5 feet below the Teton River. The old pipeline will be capped and abandoned in place. The new pipeline will be installed with a directional boring machine and placed at an approximate 50’ depth. The easement will be 50.00’ wide through the state-owned riverbed.

Marc Aberg Stock Water Well 2018-08-28
Marc Aberg has requested from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation permission to construct a stock water well and stock tank on state owned land.

Sunlight Ranch Stock Water Pipeline Land Use License 2018-08-22
Craig Hossfeld, on behalf of the Sunlight Ranch Company, is proposing the installation of two sections of underground stock water pipeline into and across Section 36, T1N R36E. The first section will run diagonally from the southeast to the northwest following a two-track road to minimize new disturbance. This portion of the proposed water pipeline will meet an existing well on Section 36. The second section of underground pipeline will also follow an older two-track and will come from the northeast corner of Section 36 heading southwest and will dead end within the NE4 at a proposed stock tank. See the attached map for a more detailed description of the proposed stock water pipeline installation. The total length of underground pipeline to be installed is approximately 8400 feet.

Recreational Use

Rights-of-Way/Easement

Mid-Rivers Buffalo Rd ROW 2018-09-19
Mid-Rivers has requested an easement strip 16 feet wide, 8 feet on each side of the centerline through above said tract to install and maintain an underground telecommunication cable.

Mid-Rivers Rural Roy FTTP 2018-09-18
Mid-Rivers has requested an easement strip 16 feet wide, 8 feet on each side of the centerline through above said tract to install and maintain an underground telecommunication cable.

Austin Road Fiber Installation 2018-09-12
Century Link is proposing to install a new buried fiber optic communication line on State Trust Land in Section 36, T11N, R5W next to a buried copper telephone line. The installation of the new fiber is to upgrade voice and data in the service area. Century Link is requesting a land use license to begin this project as soon as possible because they are under direction from the FCC to complete Connect America Fund (CAF) programs by the end of October 2018. Also, Century Link is seeking an easement to authorize the existing line, cabinet site and the new fiber optic line. The new buried distribution line will encumber approximately 1.165 acres. The ROW corridor is 20 feet wide and extends approximately 2,539 feet.

Circuit 92 Electric Distribution Project 2018-09-07
Northwestern Energy has submitted an easement application (20’ wide X 245’ long - .11 acres) for the installation and use of a new 1000 MCM electric power distribution line underneath the Clark Fork River. This proposed installation is intended to provide an increased level of reliability, as well as an improved switching capability during outages and scheduled maintenance, to a substantial portion of Missoula customers located between South 3rd Street and the Clark Fork River

Mid-Rivers Telephone Fiber Optic Easement Musselshell Extensions 2018-08-16
Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative is applying for 16’ wide easements on three parcels of Trust land in Musselshell County for the underground installation of fiber optic cable. The easements are proposed to run parallel to existing county roads and state highways.

Weeds

Nothing new within the last 30 days

Wind

Nothing new within the last 30 days.

Water

Water Right Environmental Assessments.

Dam Facilities, Reservoirs, and Hydropower

Allendale Canal Intake & Fish Screen 2018-08-30
The State of Montana has proposed restoration actions for aquatic and terrestrial resources of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin. These restoration actions are implemented by the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP). As part of the Final Upper Clark Fork River Basin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Restoration Plan, NRDP has provided funding to prevent fish entrainment in the Allendale canal and promote fish passage while improving water delivery through improved irrigation infrastructure.

Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) State Water Projects Bureau owns the Allendale canal which is maintained and operated by the Flint Creek Water Users Association (FCWUA). The proposed action includes the installation of a 125 cfs vertical plate fish screen and associated fish bypass and low flow channel return to Flint Creek. This project will also serve to sustain irrigation in the valley by replacing a deteriorated concrete canal intake structure and metal trash rack.

2018 Fred Burr Dam Conduit Inspection and Repairs 2018-08-06
A potentially hazardous situation was discovered at Fred Burr Dam in 2012. A sinkhole was noticed on the downstream face of the dam, adjacent to where the outlet passes through the dam. Repairs were completed on the sinkhole; however, the entire outlet conduit needs to be regularly inspected to monitor the structure for any abnormalities. To accomplish this, Fred Burr Creek needs to be temporarily rerouted around the reservoir inlet. The plan, similar to what was previously used in 2013, is to construct a temporary coffer dam/pump pit in the reservoir and pump the creek water over the top of the spillway and then discharge back into the creek. The existing flows (which will be very low) should be maintained with only minimal changes and/or interruptions. Additional minor repairs will be made to the conduit and intake areas as part of the project. No adverse water quality or streamflow effects are anticipated. The required MT DEQ, MT DFWP, and Corps of Engineers permits have been acquired, and the Forest Service provided a statement that the project will not affect bull trout or associated critical habitat.

Water Rights

MEPA – Public Participation Guide
A tool to assist the public in providing quality comments on Montana's environmental projects.

Links to Other Agency Environmental Documents

Department of Environmental Quality

Department of Transportation Montana

Fish Wildlife and Parks