June 7, 2004 Meeting Minutes

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TO: Beaverhead Watershed Committee and interested parties

FROM: Nick Hoyrup, Coordinator 683-2713
Jnhoyrup@bmt.net
RE:
June 7, 2004 Meeting Minutes
August 3, 2004 Full Meeting Agenda

June 7, 2004 Meeting

Present: Carl Malesich, Nick Hoyrup, John Osborne, Frank Nelson, Garth Haugland, Russ Kipp, Rob Van Deren,Justin Kucera, Jeff Baumberger, Bob Hartwell, Dick Oswald, Kyle Hardin, Jack Eddie, Nate Finch, Bill Tash, Scott Payne

Ruby Valley Ground Water Study
Scott Payne of Kirk Environmental gave a presentation on the recently completed Ruby Valley Ground Water Study. Given the continuing drought conditions in southwestern Montana, the information provided was both timely and thought provoking. The Ruby group has requested RRGL funding to take the results to the application level by investigating a “closed basin” concept with respect to high volume wells.

The grant request also contains funds for implementation of fertilization BMP’s, a result of nitrate monitoring across the Ruby aquifer. The flow rate through aquifers varies greatly, and elevated nitrate levels detected today could easily be the result of a historical event. Conversely good practices today may take years to show positive results.

Of special interest to the Beaverhead group was information regarding the large “artificial aquifer” created by the East Bench Canal. The canal was not charged with water in 2004 due to drought, and many shallow wells perforate that water source.

The study and presentation contain a great amount of detail. Specific information can be obtained by contacting Kirk Environmental, Ruby Watershed Council, or Beaverhead Watershed Committee.

Weed Program 2004—Update
Beaverhead County Weed Supervisor, Jack Eddie was on hand to give the current status of the 2004 weed eradication effort, and plan for the remainder of the year. He reported good success from last season’s work judged by revisiting previously treated sites. He also provided a listing of the planned weed days in the area for this summer. Remaining weed days for 2004 are:
August 7 at Timber Butte Estates
August 25 at Wisdom
September 8 at Wise River

Grant Status

2004 Section 319 Grant
This grant for completion of the assessment phase of the TMDL was awarded at $78,600. Work under this source will commence when funding from the 2003 grant is exhausted in mid-summer. Contracts are being prepared now.

2004 MACD/LEP Grant
This grant request was awarded full funding in mid-April at $50,000. It contains funds for coordination, project management, and three demonstration projects:
· Andersen Ranch solar powered well
· Stone Creek nitrate mitigation
· Ney riparian fencing

DNRC Renewable Resource Grant
This grant request in the amount of $100,000 was submitted in mid-May. It will provide on-stream restoration of a two stream-mile reach of Spring Creek in Madison County. The project is strongly supported in both counties, and is expected to draw partnering funds and in kind from other agencies as well as the Walsh Ranch. Spring Creek was identified by the 2003 assessment work as a major contributor of sediment to the lower reach of the Beaverhead River.

DNRC Watershed Planning Assistance Grant
The current grant was extended until September 2004, and another request in the amount of $10,000 will be submitted in August. These grants provide operating funds for watershed groups.

EPA Watershed Initiative
Plans to submit this grant request jointly with the other three upper Missouri watershed groups have been delayed until 2005. A major concern is the requirement for 40 percent in matching funds and in kind.

Project Status

Andersen Well
Drilling of the well was completed in mid-June. The site yielded ten gallons per minute at a depth of 80 feet. Static head was measured at 50 feet. This work was performed under the 2001 Section 319 Grant. Approximately $1000 remaining in the grant has been approved by DEQ for use toward the hardware portion of the project. Plans are to have the system operational by fall.

Stone Creek Nitrate
Low flows in Stone Creek have delayed the start of the pilot project until fall 2004 or Spring 2005. Monitoring of drain tiles in the area will be conducted this year. This project will serve as a proto-type for other similar situations throughout Montana.

Ney riparian fencing
Work on this LEP funded project will commence as soon as fencing materials are supplied by BLM. BWC is supplying the installation of the fencing.

Watershed Work Plan
The group agreed to add work on minimal flows in the Beaverhead River to the over all work plan currently being prepared. Additionally, a 2001 task to assist with relicensing of Clark Canyon Dam will be removed as a specific task with the understanding that BWC will provide assistance as needed.

Next Meeting
The next full meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2004 at the Search and Rescue Building in Dillon.