Lewis and Clark Conservation District and County creating Augusta work group for flood mitigation efforts


 June 13, 2019


Chris Evans, Lewis and Clark Conservation District Administrator, 449-5000 x5, lccd@mt.net

Susan Good Geise, Lewis and Clark County Commissioner, 447-8302, SGEISE@lccountymt.gov

Helena — The Lewis & Clark Conservation District, in coordination with Lewis and Clark County, will be pulling together a work group to evaluate and coordinate long-term flood mitigation measures to assist landowners around and in the community of Augusta. 

The Conservation District and County will be reaching out to the State Departments of Resource and Conservation (DNRC), Transportation (MDT), Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) to be involved and assist in the coordination efforts. They will also be reaching out to landowners and other stakeholders. The goal is to address current and future damages to agricultural lands, public lands and the town itself.

The Conservation District and other entities plan to coordinate the group and help find resources for the area. It will also seek landowners interested in leading the group. The plan is to look at landowner short-term needs, but more importantly, long-term potential solutions. There are no specific plans yet and it is unknown what the result will look like. However, the goal is to help residents figure out a way to live with the stream, allowing for flood seasons with minimal negative impact.

“We really want to make sure we are maximizing time, resources and expertise by coordinating with each other,” said Chris Evans, Lewis & Clark Conservation District Administrator. “All of these entities have things to bring to the table, and the goal of working together is the potential to get more bang for our buck and not duplicate efforts.”

As formation of the group moves forward, the Conservation District will consider and pursue funding options, including a DNRC grant to pay for a technical hydrologic assessment of the entire length of Elk Creek, and potentially Smith and Ford Creeks.  This information is needed prior to planning any projects to know what the resource looks like, where the problem spots are, and where potential solutions could present themselves in looking at long-term mitigation.

In the short-term, the Conservation District will work with individual landowners on stream permitting for culverts, crossings, bridges, headgates, irrigation diversions and other stream related projects done at the individual level.