Montana Administrative Register Notice 12-348 No. 15   08/14/2008    
    Page No.: 10 -- 10
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In the matter of the adoption of a temporary emergency rule closing the Big Hole River, Silver Bow County, from Silver Bridge to Divide Bridge







TO: All Concerned Persons


            1.         The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission (commission) has determined the following reasons justify the adoption of a temporary emergency rule:

            (a)       There is an immediate need for a source of water for aircraft dropping water on the Pump Station fire.

            (b)       Persons recreating on the Big Hole River while aircraft are loading water from the river would be subjected to potential collisions that could result in injury or death. Furthermore, flight crews would be subjected to increased and additional peril if aircraft had to maneuver to avoid recreationists.

            (c)        ARM 12.11.6601 outlines the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' (department) authority to close public waters due to fire emergency.

(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 commission adopts the following temporary 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 a temporary emergency rule in Issue No. 15 of the 2008 Montana Administrative Register.


            2.         The commission 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 August 29, 2008, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Jessica Snyder, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; telephone (406) 444-4594; fax (406) 444-7456; or e-mail jesnyder@mt.gov.


            3.         The temporary emergency rule is effective August 1, 2008 when this rule notice is filed with the Secretary of State.


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


            RULE I BIG HOLE RIVER TEMPORARY EMERGENCY CLOSURE (1) The Big Hole River closure is located in Silver Bow County.

            (2) The Big Hole River is closed to all boating, floating, and swimming and any other public occupation of the water from the Silver Bridge to the Divide Bridge.

            (3) This rule is effective as long as the Big Hole River is needed as a source of water for fighting wildfires.


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

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


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


            6.         This rule will expire as soon as the department determines the river is again safe for boating, floating, and swimming and any other occupation of the river. This will depend on the extent and duration of wildfires in the area. Signs restricting use of the river will be removed when the rule is no longer in effect. Notice of repeal of this emergency rule will be published in the Montana Administrative Register.


7.         Concerned persons are encouraged to submit their comments to the department. They should submit their comments along with their names and addresses to Jessica Snyder, Legal Unit, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana 59620-0701; telephone (406) 444-4594; fax (406) 444-7456; or e-mail jesnyder@mt.gov. Any comments must be received no later than September 15, 2008.


8.         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.


            9.         The bill sponsor notice requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


/s/ Larry Peterman

Larry Peterman,

Acting Secretary

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission

/s/ Robert N. Lane

Robert N. Lane

Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State August 1, 2008.

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