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How does the permitting process work?

1) Application Process

All information requested on the 310 Application along with a plan and/or drawing of the proposed project and a site map must be provided. Incomplete applications may be rejected. Application are reviewed and accepted at the monthly district meetings. After a project has been accepted, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is notified of the proposed project and may request an on-site inspection.

2) Site Inspection Process

A team consisting of a District representative, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks representative and the landowner’s representative will meet to discuss the project on site. The applicant or their representative is entitled to be a team member fort he purposes of making recommendations to the District. Team members may waive participation in the on-site inspection.

After an inspection is conducted, team members make recommendations to the District at a regular meeting. The applicant can waive participation, submit a team member report jointly with other team members (if in agreement with their recommendations) or submit a separate report.

If no inspection is required, the District may proceed with the application and the applicant will be notified of its decision.

3) Decision Process

The District will decide whether to approve, modify, or deny the project within 60 days of acceptance of the application. However, this time period can be extended if the District determines it necessary to collect further information. After receiving the supervisors’ decision, the applicant has 15 days to return the permit, signed to indicate agreement with the District’s decision. Unless otherwise stated on the supervisors’ decision form, the applicant must wait 15 days before proceeding with the project.

Considerations that must be addressed by the District in making their decision:

1)  The effects on soil erosion and sedimentation, considering the methods available to complete the project and the nature and economics of the various alternatives.
2)  The effects of stream channel alteration.
3)  The effects on streamflow, turbidity, and water quality caused by materials used or by removal of ground cover.
4)  The effects on fish and aquatic habitat.
5)  Whether there are modifications or alternative solutions that are reasonably practical that would reduce the disturbance to the stream and its environment and better accomplish the purpose of the project.
6)  Whether the proposed project will create harmful flooding or erosion problems upstream or downstream.

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