BUREAU OF RECLAMATION PROJECT
The Blackfeet Tribe hosted public scoping meetings on December 4, 2013, in Browning, MT, and on January 15, 2014, in Havre, MT (refer to the Meeting Presentation).
Comments about the project may be submitted by mail to Sarah Nicolai, DOWL HKM, P.O. Box 1009, Helena, MT 59624; or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate comments are for the Boulder / Swiftcurrent Creek Stabilization Project.
The Boulder/Swiftcurrent Creek Stabilization Project will address the adverse physical and biological effects within the Boulder Creek and Swiftcurrent Creek drainages that have resulted from construction and operation of the Milk River Irrigation Project facilities. The Tribe is currently considering three alternatives for further analysis in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Alternative 1 (No Action) would perpetuate existing conditions within the project area (refer to Figure 1). No improvements would be provided. The No Action alternative will be forwarded as a baseline for comparative analysis and as a viable option if the impacts from the action alternatives appear to outweigh the benefits of the proposed project.
Alternative 4 would reconstruct the lower reaches of Swiftcurrent Creek and modify the BOR dike, allowing the creek to flow back into the Saint Mary River just upstream of the BOR diversion dam (refer to Figure 2). Alternative 4 would also alter the release schedule of Sherburne Dam to allow sediment deposition in the historic alluvial floodplain fan. The Saint Mary Diversion Dam and Canal intake would remain unchanged. Modifications to existing infrastructure such as roadways, utilities, housing and the Babb landing strip would be required for this alternative.
Alternative 6a would continue to convey irrigation flows from Sherburne Dam within the existing Swiftcurrent Creek channel, while flood flows would be conveyed within a defined floodplain corridor to the Saint Mary River through a reconstructed channel following the pre-1900 Swiftcurrent Creek alignment (refer to Figure 3). Modifications to existing infrastructure such as roadways, utilities, and housing would be required.
As development of project alternatives continues, the Blackfeet Tribe will consider potential ecological and socioeconomic issues, including:
- bull trout migration through the Saint Mary and Swiftcurrent systems;
- effects on wildlife species, including grizzly bear and elk habitat and migration;
- changes in channel morphology;
- increased sediment loads in the Saint Mary River;
- impacts to established riparian/wetland vegetation on the delta and within historic channels of Swiftcurrent Creek;
- impacts to culturally significant sites, plants, and animals;
- impacts to adjacent infrastructure, including housing developments, roadways, and bridges;
- water rights;
- adjacent land use; and
- impacts to the BOR Milk River Irrigation Project infrastructure
Public Scoping Meeting Minutes February 2014
Phase II Final Report
Phase I Final Report
1998 Report - Design for Stabilization and Reconstruction of Swift Current Creek and Boulder Creek near Babb, Montana