Hill County Park Board Provides Cattle Grazing Report, Discusses Wind Damage

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – The Hill County Park Board met on Monday evening for their regular monthly meeting.

The Board approved a request from the Havre Chamber of Commerce to use a portion of Beaver Creek Park for the inaugural Bear Paw Marathon on June 5th. The plan is for the event to be in a hybrid format, with runners having the option to compete either virtually or in-person. COVID-19 precautions will be in place, including limiting in-person runners to Montana residents only. Marathon sign-ups will begin once the Chamber receives final approval from all entities involved.

Park Superintendent Chad Edgar provided a report of estimated cattle revenue from the 2020 grazing season. The estimated revenue surpassed $100,000 for the second straight year, ending up at $103,826.40. This will go back into the Park’s budget. An additional $17,880.80 in estimated revenue will go directly into the land management fund.

Also at the meeting, the Board approved a request from Cody Welch of Chippewa Cree Natural Resources Forestry Division to provide a letter of support to create a fuels management partnership. This would likely be a multi-year project to help improve Beaver Creek Park by taking actions such as replanting trees in areas that have suffered fire damage and maintaining trails. Funding would be provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and work would be done by members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. Planning on this potential partnership remains in its early stages, with work potentially beginning in 2022.

Another issue discussed was damage caused by last month’s wind storm. The storm blew an outhouse over, destroyed a barn door, and caused a tree to fall on the entry porch of the Chapel. The majority of the cost of repairs will likely be covered by insurance, but the Park will likely have to pay a deductible of between $2,000-$4,000.

Also discussed at the meeting:

  • Dr. Terri Hildebrand, Professor at Montana State University-Northern, provided a draft report on vegetation monitoring in Beaver Creek Park. This extensive paper will be reviewed by members of the Board and the public can request a copy as well and provide feedback. A similar report on water monitoring will be provided in the coming months.
  • The Board is currently receiving quotes on a kiosk and pay box that will be placed at the entrance. This project has an estimated cost of $9,000.
  • Edgar says park usage was relatively low in January, but still higher than normal due to warmer-than-average temperatures.

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