Montana Administrative Register Notice 12-477 No. 18   09/22/2017    
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In the matter of the adoption of an emergency rule closing a portion of Lake Frances in Pondera 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:

            (a)       Several wildfires are burning in the area including the Scalp Fire, Strawberry Fire, and Crucifixion Fire.

            (b)       Fire suppression efforts include several aircraft scooping and bucketing water from Lake Frances.

            (c)        The closure is necessary so aircraft crews can safely operate and maneuver without potential collisions with recreationists on the lake. The closure is also necessary so recreationists, including those with limited maneuverability, are not subject to potential collision with large, heavy water buckets suspended from helicopters.

            (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. 18 of the 2017 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 September 29, 2017, 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) 444-9785; or e-mail jesssnyder@mt.gov.


            3.         The emergency rule is effective September 12, 2017 when this rule notice is filed with the Secretary of State.


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


            RULE I LAKE FRANCES EMERGENCY CLOSURE (1)  Lake Frances is located in Pondera County.

            (2) Lake Frances is closed to all public occupation and recreation including, but not limited to, floating, swimming, wading, and boating.

            (3) This rule is effective as long as the lake is needed as a source of water for fire suppression efforts. This will depend on the extent and duration of the fire in the area. Posted signs regarding the emergency closure will be removed when the rule is no longer effective. 


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

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


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


6.         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, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; or e-mail jesssnyder@mt.govAny comments must be received no later than October 22, 2017.


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, 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.



/s/ Mike Volesky

Mike Volesky

Acting Director

Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks

/s/ Rebecca Dockter

Rebecca Dockter

Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State September 12, 2017.

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