The company that has been seeking permits to build three new hydropower projects in Montana announced today that they are abandoning their proposals - for now. This is a great relief for the many Montanans that care about the incredible paddling, fishing, and scenery that these streams offer.
The projects would have largely dewatered sections of East Rosebud Creek, West Rosebud Creek, and the Madison River that are popular with paddlers. East Rosebud and the Madison are spectacular Class V rivers that are eligible for Wild and Scenic designation. The proposed project on West Rosebud Creek would have dewatered a beautiful section of the stream where Montana PPL currently provides recreational and ecological flow releases from an upstream hydropower project.
American Whitewater vocally opposed these high-impact hydropower projects through detailed filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, through giving public presentations, and through working with concerned citizens and partner organizations.
These threats of hydropower development in Montana's remote and beautiful Beartooth Mountains have inspired a grassroots movement to protect these and other regional streams with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Montanan's have not designated a Wild and Scenic River since the mid-seventies, and have only four designated rivers. Wild and Scenic designation would prevent future hydropower development and protect the values that people care about on the streams for perpetuity.
With the hydropower projects shelved, American Whitewater looks forward to exploring river protection opportunities with local and regional river enthusiasts.
Montana Dam Proposals to be Withdrawn!
June 7, 2013