What is the purpose of the 310 Law?

The purpose of the 310 Law is to insure that projects on perennial streams will be carried out in ways that are not damaging to the stream or to adjoining landowners.

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.  Applications are reviewed and accepted at the monthly District meeting.  After a project is accepted, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is notified of the proposed project and may request an on-site inspection.

Conservation District Considerations.

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 reasonable and 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.

What if I have an emergency?

There is a provision in the 310 Law to handle actions necessary to safeguard life or property, including growing crops, during periods of emergency.  If a person takes an emergency action, the Conservation district  must be notified within 15 days in writing of the action taken and why said action was chosen.

The emergency action will be reviewed by the Conservation  District.  The District will decide whether the action was appropriate, must be modified, or must be removed and/or replaced.

What happens if I don't get a permit?

It is a misdemeanor to initiate a project without a permit; to conduct activities outside the scope of the permit, to violate emergency procedures or to use prohibited materials in a project.

Upon conviction of a misdemeanor, a person may be punished by a fine up to $500.00 (five hundred dollars) or by a civil penalty not to exceed $500.00 (five hundred dollars) per day for each day the person continues to alter the stream.

In addition, at the discretion of the court, the person may be required to restore the damaged stream as recommended by the Conservation District Supervisors to as near its prior condition as possible.

Article Taken from the Trader's Dispatch September 2007

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