DEQ Gives Green Light to West Glacier RV Park Permit

State officials say proposed RV park will not impact surrounding area

By Justin Franz

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has approved a final Environmental Assessment for water and wastewater facilities at a proposed RV park near the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

Pursuit, formally known as Glacier Park, Inc., is constructing a campground for more than 100 recreational vehicles and 25 cabins on a 178-acre forested tract of land along River Bend Drive, just west of the West Glacier Village. The project received approval from the Flathead County Commission last year despite opposition from neighboring residents concerned about congestion.

The public water system will include two groundwater wells pumping water into a 157,000-gallon steel storage tank that is 24 feet tall and 34 feet in diameter. The wastewater would be pumped to two onsite lagoons, where it would be sprayed into a grassy area. The lagoons will have a 200-foot buffer and are a quarter-mile from the closest home or business. Solid waste produced by the RV park will be trucked to the Flathead County Landfill.

According to the DEQ’s draft assessment, the water systems will have no negative impacts on the surrounding environment or wildlife.

Pursuit first proposed the new RV park in early 2017 and went to the Flathead County Commission for approval last spring. During two county commission meetings, local residents raised a gamut of concerns, mostly about additional traffic, but also about pollution, safety and impacts to wildlife. The commission acknowledged that the RV park could increase traffic in the area, but eventually decided to green-light it anyway and approve a preliminary plat.

The proposal for an RV park came three years after Pursuit acquired the property on the southern edge of Glacier National Park when it purchased the West Glacier land holdings from the Lundgren family in July 2014. The deal included the West Glacier Mercantile and other holdings in West Glacier, as well as cabins in Apgar in Glacier National Park.


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