Public Scoping Comments Sought Concerning Proposed Utility Improvements at Belly River Ranger Station
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
Contact: Mary Riddle, 406 888-7898
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park seek comments to help in the preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) for proposed utility improvements at the Belly River Ranger Station Historic District. The improvements are necessary to upgrade the water, wastewater, and electrical systems in the district.
“The proposed projects would improve employee health, safety, and water quality. The current utility systems, installed between 1927 and 1959, are inefficient, inadequate, and environmentally unsafe,” stated Superintendent Mick Holm. Officials propose to replace the existing water line, construct a central septic system, and construct a central propane system. Joints on the current water line have failed or are failing due to corrosion. The proposed replacement line would follow the existing route, grade, and depth. The existing three sewer systems are substandard or have failed; they also attract wildlife. The proposed replacement would connect the three buildings into a single septic tank system and leach field. The proposed propane work would replace individual bottles used at three buildings with a buried pipe to a central storage building from which the fuel would be dispersed.
Approximately 3500 feet of new trenches would be dug for the water and sewer improvements and approximately 40 feet of propane line would be buried to complete the proposed work.
The Belly River Station Historic District lies within Glacier’s recommended wilderness. It serves visitors as well as provides support services for backcountry operations.
Scoping is an early and open process which occurs prior to the development of an EA. Scoping comments are used to identify issues and alternatives that should be addressed in the EA. The public will also be provided the opportunity to comment on the EA.
Comments can be provided directly through the park’s planning website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkId=61) by selecting this project. Or write to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: Belly River Utility EA, West Glacier, Montana 59936. Comments are due by March 17, 2006.
Did You Know?
If current trends continue, some scientists predict that by the year 2030, Glacier National Park will not contain any glaciers and many of the park's smaller glaciers will melt even sooner.