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Bank Failure Bailout

flood00011997. The new head of the Sanders County Emergency Management office decided that it would be nice to have a new home on the scenic Clark Fork, just downstream from Plains. He picked a nice level lot on river fill overlooking the river. The home was about a hundred feet back from the river on the outside of a large bend. Wonderful views. Because it was high up on the bank, there was no need to worry about flooding. The river could never reach way up here.  Come high water and the Clark Fork, as rivers are wont to do, decided to move somewhat south. When this photo was taken, the house was hanging about 18 feet over the river. The owner, a gentleman who should have known better, tried valiantly to get the state to rip-rap the bank and save his house. Alas, it was all too late and the river continued to cut the loose fill. Seeing that he could be in for a big lawsuit or cleanup bill or worse, the owner was forced to burn his pretty new house to the ground before the remains collapsed into the Clark Fork.

This morning, jhwygirl over at 4 & 20 Blackbirds brings us another touching story of homeowners and rowdy rivers. This time, the victim of the vicious river water is Dan Floyd. Floyd is treasurer for a small group of Ravalli County’s comfortably well off landowners who call themselves the Higher Ground Foundation.  They have been prominent in fighting against stream setbacks, zoning and for property rights issues in Ravalli County. They were instrumental in getting the county to repeal it’s new growth policy.

Evidently, the ground was not high enough around Floyd’s Bitterroot River hideaway. The river has taken about 30% of his property and threatens two guest cabins. Of course, this is the fault of the evil river and nasty neighbors and not due to building on the flood plain. Floyd is asking the state to move in with their bulldozers and fix this problem because “…it’s about public safety…”.

Jeff Shock, a DNRC engineering specialist says: “The nature of the river is it wants to move and it’s moved several times at that location.” That’s the takeaway line from this heartbreaking story of man and nature, Rivers Move. HB455, the Big Sky Rivers Act will set common sense streamside management area guidelines and allow local control of local rivers. The bill is still moving through the House and needs your support. Call 406-444-4800 to leave a message for your legislators or use the Legislature Online Message Form. We need to stop the abuse of Big Sky Rivers and show folks like Dan Floyd that Montanan’s really care about their plight.

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2 Responses

  1. […] about here, here, and here. Probably elsewhere, […]

  2. […] before it fell into the river – with a nifty picture, don’t miss it – and a call, again, for support of the Big Sky Rivers Act. This one is still in the House, folks…let’s give it a lift and tell that House Natural […]

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