Montana’s Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act, also known as the 310 Law, is a state law requiring any person planning to work in or near a perennial stream or river on private or public land to first obtain a 310 Permit from the local conservation district.
The purpose of the 310 Law is to insure that projects on perennial streams will be carried out in ways that are not damaging to the stream, its banks or to adjoining landowners. The Beaverhead Conservation District (BCD) administers the 310 law in Beaverhead County. There is no fee for the 310 permit.
In Case of Emergency
The 310 Law contains a provision to handle actions necessary to safeguard life or property, including growing crops, during emergencies. The emergency form is available on this Web site or from the BCD office. If you must take emergency action, notify the BCD in writing within 15 days of the action taken explaining what was done and why. The emergency action will be reviewed by the BCD, which will decide whether the action was appropriate, must be modified, or must be removed and/or replaced.
Activities Without a Permit
It is a misdemeanor to initiate a project without a permit; to conduct activities outside the scope of the permit, to violate emergency procedures, or to use prohibited materials in a project. Upon conviction of a misdemeanor, a person may be punished by a fine up to $500 or by a civil penalty not to exceed $500 per day for each day the person continues to alter the stream. In addition, at the discretion of the court, the person may be required to restore the damaged stream as recommended by the BCD to as near its prior condition as possible.
If you would like to report an activity that may be a violation of the 310 law, please fill out the complaint/violation form and mail it to the BCD. You can download a complaint/violation form from their website, or contact the BCD.
Complete applications are to be submitted the third Monday of the month prior to the Board meeting. If the BCD office is closed on a day which 310 applications must be turned in, the application will be accepted the next day.
310- meetings are held at the regular board meeting, the third Thursday of each month. Meetings begin at 7:00 pm in the conference room at the CD office, 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, MT 59725. All meetings are open to the public. Some meetings may be cancelled if they occur on the same day as a holiday, or if a quorum of the board will not be present.
(See District Calendar for meeting dates.)
2nd Thursday of the Month: 310 applications & violations due to the BCD office
3rd Thursday of the Month: Business Meeting
Note: This process may take at least 60 days.
2. Site Inspection
An onsite inspection date is arranged upon receipt of the 310 application. If the applicant is not present at the meeting, they will be contacted and given the date and time for the on-site inspection. The team consists of a District representative, a Montana FWP representative and the landowner or landowner’s representative. The team will discuss the project on site. Team members may waive participation in the on-site inspection.
After an inspection is conducted, team members make recommendations to the District at a regular meeting. If no inspection is required, the District may proceed with the application and the applicant will be notified of its decision.
During the next 310-meeting, applications are approved, modified, or denied for a permit. This time period can be extended if the BCD determines it necessary to collect further information. After receiving notice of the decision, the applicant has 15 days to sign and return the Board’s Decision Form to indicate agreement. (Note: Permit letters may take up to two weeks to be sent out.) Unless otherwise stated on the supervisors decision form, the applicant must wait 15 days before proceeding with the project. If the applicant does not return the signed Board’s Decision Form, the permit is automatically null and void.
More information on the 310 Permit Process is available on the DNRC website.
In making a decision, the District considers these factors:
- The effects on soil erosion and sedimentation, considering the methods available to complete the project and the nature and economics of the various alternatives.
- The effects of stream alteration.
- The effects on stream flow, turbidity, and water quality caused by materials used or by removal of ground cover
- The effects on fish and aquatic habitat.
Forms and Applications
Application forms can be picked up at our office, 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, MT, or downloaded below.
Please mail or drop off completed forms to:Beaverhead Conservation District 420 Barrett Street, Dillon, MT 59725