Montana Administrative Register Notice 12-593 No. 24   12/23/2022    
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In the matter of the adoption of an emergency rule closing the Valley Garden Fishing Access Site on the Madison River in Madison County







            TO: All Concerned Persons


1. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (department) has determined the following reasons justify the adoption of an emergency rule closing the Valley Garden Fishing Access Site:

(a) There is ice gouging and there are ice jams on the Madison River that have caused water and ice to channel through multiple portions of the fishing access site.

(b) The combination of dangerous conditions includes gouging ice, ice-covered roadways and accessways, and the potential for flooding, ultimately rendering unsafe conditions for pedestrian and vehicle travel.

(c) Persons recreating at the fishing access site would be at risk of unsafe roadways, injury, or drowning.

(d) Therefore, as this situation constitutes an imminent peril to public health, safety, and welfare, and this threat cannot be averted or remedied by any other administrative act, the department adopts the following emergency rule. The emergency rule will be sent as a press release to newspapers throughout the state. Also, signs informing the public of the closure will be posted at access points.  The rule will be sent to interested parties and published as an emergency rule in Issue No. 24 of the 2022 Montana Administrative Register.


2. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the rulemaking process and need an alternative accessible format of the notice.  If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 6, 2023, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Crissy Bell, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; telephone (406) 444-4594; or e-mail cbell@mt.gov.


3. The emergency rule is effective December 7, 2022, when this rule notice is filed with the Secretary of State.


4. The text of the emergency rule provides as follows:


RULE I VALLEY GARDEN FISHING ACCESS SITE EMERGENCY CLOSURE (1)  The Valley Garden Fishing Access Site is located along the Madison River in Madison County.

(2)  The Valley Garden Fishing Access Site is closed to all public occupation and recreation as signed.

           (3) This rule will remain in effect until the department determines that the site is again safe for public occupancy.  This will depend on the extent and the duration of the ice jams and gouges on the river causing flooding into the fishing access site.  Signs closing the fishing access site will be removed when the rule is no longer effective.


            AUTH:            2-4-303, 87-1-202, MCA

               IMP:             2-4-303, 87-1-202, MCA


            5.  The rationale for the emergency rule is set forth in paragraph 1.


6. Concerned persons are encouraged to submit their comments to the department. Please submit comments along with names and addresses to: Crissy Bell, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT, 59602-0701; e-mail cbell@mt.gov. Any comments must be received no later than January 20, 2023.


7. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notice of rulemaking actions proposed by the department or commission. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make written request that includes the name and mailing address of the person to receive the notice and specifies the subject or subjects about which the person wishes to receive notice. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Legal Unit, P.O. Box 200701, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, Helena, MT 59620-0701, faxed to the office at (406) 444-7456, or may be made by completing the request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. The special notice requirements of 2-4-303, MCA have been met. All committee members and staff of the Environmental Quality Council, with addresses provided on the Montana Legislature's website (leg.mt.gov), were contacted by e-mail on December 7, 2022.



/s/ Mike Volesky

Mike Volesky

Chief of Operations

Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks


/s/ Kathleen Jensen

Kathleen Jensen

Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State December 7, 2022.


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