The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the oldest newspaper devoted to Lincoln, Montana and the upper Blackfoot Valley and has been the best source for local news from Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville and Canyon Creek since 1980. With a circulation of nearly 600 in 37 towns across Montana and in 25 states, we reach an estimated 1500 readers each week. We are member of Montana Newspaper Association and are working hard to provide our readers with the best possible local news and advertising. We appreciate feedback, so let us know what you think and how we can improve.You can contact us at 406-362-4131.
May 14 Headlines
Fist fight erupts at outside Mountain View Co-op after family argument
Hotel Lincoln re-opens
Obituary Stewart Baker, Jr.
Vacation Bible Club set for June 8-12
New School Board trustees sworn in
PTSA Corner: Teacher Appreciation
Pitcher Perfect Game
Wildlife can walk under busy Highway 200 near Lincoln
Jaws of Life: Volunteer Firefighters train to stay safe while saving lives
My Smart Mouth: Remnants
East Helena woman with Lincoln ties vying for Extreme Huntress title
Growing Lettuce and Greens – Part 2
Remember, letters to the editor, guest editorials and commentaries are welcome
We should have our photo site up and running someday!!!
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Clean up work resumes at UBMC
Roger Dey BVD
“Removal of mine tailings and reclamation work at the Upper Blackfoot Valley Mining Complex resumed Monday, May 4, a full two months earlier than anticipated.“This is crazy early for us,” said Shellie Haaland, project construction manager with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. "We generally don’t assume we’re going to be working until after the Fourth of July.”
The early start is a chance to make up for some of the time lost last fall due to early inclement weather and to “make hay while the sun shines,” Haaland said. Although the project partners- the DEQ, U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Damage Program – are looking forward to a productive season, Haaland said they could be see shut downs for any number of reasons. Although heavy rains or other inclement weather can impact the project, it’s the dry conditions that might lead to an early shutdown due to fire danger that is particularly concerning, and is another reason Haaland is glad this years work is off to an early start. “We gotta get out there and try to make it happen now,” she said.
Haaland said this is expected to be a big year for the cleanup project. “This is the year the dam comes out,” she said. They expect to remove the remainder of the tailings from the impoundment and take out the 75-year-old Mike Horse Dam. “ Our goal is to get the creek back down to the bottom of the valley.”
Last year 40,000 cubic yards of tailings were removed from the impoundment. An additional 30,000 cubic yards of contaminated material were also taken out of the old Mike Horse Repository built just above Mike Horse Creek in the 1990s by ASARCO. According to the DEQ, the excavation of that repository showed it had not been built according to plan and that water had leaked through it. They also found that it had been built on top of contaminated material that filled the bottom of the draw.
Once an upstream pre-treatment pond and the contaminated material filling the draw are removed, Mike Horse Creek will also be restored to its natural course.
Haaland said they are planning on hosting monthly public tours of the project, probably on the second or third Saturdays of each month, to give people a chance to see the progress first hand. Once they confirm the date, they will be advertised in the BVD and other newspapers in the region.
School tours are also being coordinated with the help of the Blackfoot Challenge and Haaland said she hopes to be able to coordinate the student’s visits during the time when the dam comes out.
With reclamation and hauling activity underway again, the haul roads into and out of the cleanup area -Mike Horse and Meadow Creek Roads - will once again be closed to the public for the duration of the construction season. Haaland said crews returned to work at the Mike Horse May 4. Hauling of contaminated mine waste from there to the UBMC Repository along Highway 279 is slated to start May 18. According to the latest Mike Horse Messenger, the project’s informational flyer, project contractor Helena Sand & Gravel expects to be hauling 11 hours a day, five days a week and drivers should expect to see reduced speeds on Highway 200 in the area of the Mike Horse again. The temporary speed zones are part of an effort to ensure public safety as haul trucks enter and exit the highway en route to and from the repository six miles away.
The Montana Department of Transportation has also added a wrinkle to travel in the area with chip seal work planned for Highways 200 and 279 this summer. Helena Sand & Gravel also has that contract, and Haaland hopes that will help minimize traffic delays or conflicts.
Moving Sale MAY 1ST AND MAY 2ND
Quilter’s haven. Lots of fabric, machines, furniture, antiques, tools, building materials, tv’s, and household items. Fri & Sat, May 1st and 2nd. 91 Pine behind Leepers. 8 am to 2 pm