November 20, 2007 – Full Meeting Minutes

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Present:  Carl Malesich, Walt Van Deren, Harris Wheat, Jack Eddie, Steve Armiger, J. S. Turner, Margie Edsall. Jeremy Gingerich, Jon Hoerning, Rick Mulder, Nick Hoyrup

The agenda for the November 20 regular meeting featured two guest speakers:

Mr. Jack Eddie, Beaverhead County Weed Coordinator discussed the 2007 weed management program.  Highlights of his presentation included:

  • A total of $353,352 in grant funding has been spent to date on the Beaverhead River Corridor project with a matching funds contribution of $380,000 for a total of $733,352.
  • This years request was $64,000 with $73,500 in match.
  • In the Beaverhead project, a total of 720 acres were treated in 2007 bringing the total to 3,650 acres since 2002. The commercial applicator has treated 1,500 of those acres.
  • The list of species treated includes: Canada Thistle, Spotted Knapweed, Leafy Spurge, Russian Knapweed, Hounds Tongue, and Dalmation Toadflax.
  • A future species to be on the look out for is Perennial Pepperweed
  • The 2008 grant hearing will be March 3-7 in Billings. BWC will have members present to support the grant applications.
  • The total spent to date on the East Bench Canal weed project is $40,000 with matching funds contribution of $40,000 for a total of $80,000.
  • This year the East Bench request is $24,000 with $25,000 dedicated in matching funds.
  • A total of 400 acres was treated in the canal corridor in 2007 for a total of 750 acres since 2006. The commercial applicator has treated 220 of those acres, and in 2007 began treating the laterals.
  • In addition to the species treated in the Beaverhead River project, Diffuse Knapweed and Common Mullen were species of concentration in the East Bench project.
  • Spray Day events for 2008 in the Beaverhead are scheduled as follows:
    • Clark Canyon Reservoir June 18
    • Beaverhead River June 18
    • Blacktail Ridge June 24
    • Clark Canyon reservoir July 12
    • Clark Canyon Reservoir August 2
  • Other projects for which funding has been secured include:
    • Little Sheep Creek weed project
    • Clark Canyon fire weed project

Mr. Rick Mulder, Montana Dept. of Agriculture Hydrologist, gave a presentation entitled “Ground and Surface Water Testing for Pesticides in the Beaverhead and Ruby Watersheds”.  He summed up the results of the 2007 work as “all good news” Highlights included:

  • The Dept. of Agriculture sampling represents a 20 year interval in these watersheds.  Target watersheds are selected at random for pesticide monitoring.
  • Both pesticides and herbicides are included in the analytical analyses.
  • There is no set schedule for the DOA testing, and the good results would not indicate a need to test in these watersheds in the near future.
  • In surface water samples, the only chemical identified was 2,4-D.  It was detected in minute quantities in two of two samples in the Ruby and in two of four in the Beaverhead.  All samples indicated levels of .0067 ppb or less.  The current human drinking water standard is 70 ppb.
  • In ground water samples again it was all good news.  Only trace levels of several chemicals were detected with Tordon, an herbicide, detectible in one sample at 1.7 ppb versus a drinking water standard of 500 ppb.
  • With respect to nitrates, a major component in fertilizers, all ground water samples tested fell in a range between “none detected” and 2.9 ppm.  The human drinking water standard for nitrates is 10 ppm.
  • The results in the Beaverhead and Ruby compare favorably with some other areas of the state and country.  All analyses are well below human health limits.
  • Data from 2007 will be utilized to define trends when compared to future samplings.
  • A final report is in preparation.

Grant and Project Updates:

  • The Spring Creek Restoration Project, funded under a DNRC Renewable Resource Grant, is still slated to commence on-the-ground work in spring of 2008 when stream protection measures are complete by the land owner.  A Technical Committee Meeting with the landowners and MFWP is scheduled for November 29 to tour the project area.
  • A culvert replacement where Spring Creek crosses East Bench road, funded by a Future Fisheries Grant from MFWP, has been completed.  BWC/FFG supplied the pipe and Madison County /R. E. Miller and Sons performed the installation work.  The new culvert will eliminate a barrier that has kept fish from reaching the restoration reach of Spring Creek.
  • Title II funding which provided the Resource Advisory Committee funds for Blacktail Ridge Weed project has been extended through September 2008.  This extension has allowed the inclusion of an additional weed day on Blacktail Ridge and two at Clark Canyon Reservoir in 2008.
  • The Beaverhead TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) project remains on hold due to manpower shortfalls at MDEQ.
  •  Outreach and project investigations for future Section 319 grants through MDEQ will ramp back up in 2008 in anticipation of the completion of the Beaverhead TMDL.
  • The BWC distributed an informational mailing to 200 stakeholders on November 1 that detailed the first six years’ accomplishments of the Committee and described future plans.  A color brochure depicting project work and stakeholder participation was included in that mailing.        

Other Business

  • The annual meeting of the Upper Missouri Watersheds will be held in the Montana Room of the Twin Bridges high School the evening of November 28.  The theme of this years meeting will be “Water and Rural Sprawl”.  A pot luck dinner will precede the meeting at 6:00 p.m.
  • The BWC continues to seek good improvement projects both on and off-stream across the watershed. Per the 2007 work plan, funding will actively be pursued for several new projects.  Any interested person with a concept or plan for 2008 or beyond is encouraged to contact the BWC.

The next full meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at the Search and Rescue Building in Dillon. Keynote speakers will be:

  • Dick Oswald, Area Fisheries Biologist will present the “State of the Fishery” for the Beaverhead River and Clark Canyon Reservoir.
  • Stephanie Hellekson and Justin Kucera of USBOR will discuss potential joint Activities under the recently awarded grant for MOU administration.
  • Representatives of the MT Bureau of Mines and Geology will provide information pertaining to their upcoming groundwater project in the Beaverhead watershed.

Nick Hoyrup, Coordinator 683-2713.