The Roundup -

By Lori Ryan 

MDT Searching for Wetlands

MDT is Seeking Drained or Partially Drained Wetlands for Proposed Wetland Mitigation Transportation Projects in Several Northeastern Counties in Montana


The Montana Department of Transportation is searching for wetlands that have been drained and/or partially drained that could be restored as mitigation for transportation projects. Former wetlands in the Watershed #12 – Lower Missouri River basin associated with the Big Muddy, Little Muddy, Redwater and Poplar River drainages in Northeastern Montana that could potentially be restored to wetlands are being sought by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). If you own drained or partially drained wetlands and would be willing to sell or provide a perpetual conservation easement, a representative would like to hear from you by March 8, 2013. The location of the sought-after drainage areas are:

Poplar River Drainage – Daniels, Roosevelt and Valley counties

Big Muddy River Drainage – Richland, Roosevelt and Sheridan counties

Little Muddy River Drainage – Richland County

Redwater River Drainage – Dawson and McCone counties

Through the Department’s construction program, wetlands are sometimes impacted and Federal regulations require that unavoidable wetland impacts must be mitigated at a minimum ratio of one acre of impact to one acre of restored wetland. Once restored for mitigation credit, Federal regulations require that these wetlands be protected from further degradation such as draining, filling and leveling through a perpetual Aquatic Resource Conservation easement with the Department.

Wetlands affected by the Department’s construction program receive special attention under federal law. In instances where impacts to wetlands are unavoidable, the law allows that the loss can be offset by restoring other wetlands within the same drainage. It is for this purpose that potential restoration sites are being sought.

Landowners need to meet the following qualifications in order to participate in this program:

The landowners must be willing to either sell the land at fair market value (based on current land use) or provide MDT with a Perpetual Protective Agreement.

Land Parcels must be capable of generating a minimum of ten acres of restored wetlands.

Land that is or has been a part of a Federal or State Conservation program (EQUIP, WRP, etc.) is not eligible for this program.

Owners of potential sites are encouraged to contact Lawrence Urban – Wetland Mitigation Specialist, Montana Department of Transportation P.O. Box 201001, Helena, MT 59620-1001, (406)444-6224. (This notice and request for information does not constitute an offer to purchase property).


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