North Central Montana Regional Feasibility Report To Be Released

Media Contact: Todd Dixon, (406) 247-7300
Mark Andersen, (406) 247-7610

For Release: November 18, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation will release the North Central Montana Regional Feasibility Report December 1, according to Great Plains Regional Director Maryanne Bach.

The report was authorized by the Chippewa Cree Tribe Indian Reserved Water Rights Settlement (P.L. 106-163, 1999). It was to evaluate water and related resources in North Central Montana to determine the limitations of those resources and how the resources can best be managed and developed.

Bach said the report identifies a number of potential opportunities to help address the water issues in the area, but contains no recommendations. It does not include National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation because there is no project-specific feasibility authorization in the legislation.

While the report identifies 18 potential alternatives, it focuses on the six most promising alternatives, including enhancements to the St. Mary Canal.

Bach said the report provides a basis for future discussion among Federal, State, Tribal and local governments.

Copies of the report will be available at the next Lt Governor's St. Mary Rehabilitation Working Group meeting in Havre December 1.

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