FWP to Clear Debris, Old Buildings from North Shore Site

Agency will restore the floodplain to natural conditions and clean up the historic remnants of a homestead

By Dillon Tabish

Wildlife managers are moving forward with the cleanup and natural restoration of a 70-acre section of property along the north shore of Flathead Lake.

Jim Williams, supervisor for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region One, issued a final decision notice Oct. 20 to clean up the Osprey View Fisheries Conservation Area, an old homestead site that is open to the public but littered with old debris.

The agency, which acquired the land in 2009 for public access and to preserve waterfowl habitat, will restore the floodplain to natural conditions and clean up the historic remnants of a homestead, including leftover debris, lumber, a dilapidated building and one collapsed building. The site is located near Holt Drive and is adjacent to the private property leading to Dockstader Island on one side and protected waterfowl and wildlife management areas on the other.

FWP received 12 comments during a public scoping session last month. Seven were in favor of total cleanup of the area and five were opposed to a portion of the proposed project. Those who expressed concerned requested that FWP retain the standing structure for aesthetic reasons. One of the five wanted FWP to retain the collapsed building in addition to the standing one.

FWP officials say they are removing the structures for safety reasons.

The buildings are believed to be former bunkhouses for an historic farm that operated along the agricultural lakeshore in the 1930s. A barn and homestead were also once on the property but no longer exist.

A cultural survey was completed in 2012 but determined that the site failed to meet several criteria to be protected on the National Register of Historic Places, according to FWP.

The site consists of 20 acres of land and 50 acres of floodplain. It was originally purchased using Bonneville Power Administration funds. If approved, the cleanup project would commence in October. FWP would put the cleanup project out for bid and the old wood could be reclaimed as part of the cleanup, Tempel said.

FWP is soliciting anyone interested in bidding on the cleanup project.

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