Stream Permits and Emergencies

Not surprisingly, we’re getting a lot of questions on these two topics right now.  Stream permits (the “310 permit”) is required for any project work that affects the bed or banks of a perennial stream on private land, or on public land where the project is being done by a private, non-governmental entity (like bridges on National Forest land that are used to access the privately owned or leased cabins).  Conservation Districts are required by law to administer this program.

In the event of emergencies, work can be done and an Emergency Notice can be filed after the fact.  People need to be aware though, that with this notice, further work may be required by the Conservation District to “fix” work done under the emergency.  The definition that we use for emergency is “when life, crops or property are at imminent risk”.  Be aware that if you file for work done under an emergency and it is determined that there was in fact no emergency, you may be found to be in violation of state law.

Project work, work that needs to be done but not under emergency conditions, must be permitted with a 310 permit.  These generally take 30-45 days to obtain.  A comprehensive set of instructions is available for those who need to fill out one of these applications. Usually there is an onsite inspection before the decision which is made at a regular board meeting.  The Lewis & Clark Conservation District generally meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month, though that can be changed, and we will sometimes meet more often than that.

If you have any questions, please give me a call at 406-449-5000 ext. 112 or email me at  I’d be more than happy to answer your questions.