Archive for March 27th, 2008

by jhwygirl

It should be quite an affair at the Milltown bluff, high over the confluence of the Clark Fork and the Blackfoot rivers. I bet there will even be a few champagne corks popped.

For the first time in a little over 100 years (I recall a 1903 news clipping being sent a while back on the construction of the dam), the river will flow freely. It will send sediment downstream and cause temporary damage to the fishery.  River levels are estimated to rise up to 4 feet.

The breach is scheduled for approximately 11:30. It could take hours, it could happen fairly quickly. A bulldozer will bust through a bypass channel that has been created to divert water into the north side of the Clark Fork, where the north abutment and powerhouse once stood. The river will remain in this channel until the remainder of the dam, including the spillway radial gate and divider block are removed later this year.

Everyone is invited. Here is a link to directions to the overlook: map-to-milltown-bluff-overlook.pdf

Below is a picture of the powerhouse’s removal. The concrete rubble to the left is from the dam’s north abutment.


Tomorrow, the river runs freely.

Dianna Hammer of EPA’s Region 8 (Montana) office has headed this project up for quite some time. She’s given birth and seen that same child head off to his first day of kindergarten. I believe she is pregnant with another.

To her and all the others that have worked long and hard on this: Thank you

by Pete Talbot

Our little city and big state made the news again. This time it’s about our influence on the presidential Democratic primary race.

Chris Cillizza, whose political column, The Fix, appears on, wrote about the battleground state of Montana. (A tip o’ the hat to the anonymous, alert reader who forwarded the link to me.)

It’s an insightful piece about which Democratic candidate is going to come out on top in our June primary. It mentions Sen. Tester, the Good Gov. and the Honorable John Engen, Mayor of Missoula, among others. Take a look.

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