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City of Helena

City of Helena

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City of Helena

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  1. City of Helena Response to objections on the Forest Service Red Mountain Flume/Chessman Reservoir project www.helenamt.gov Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  2. Tell the Forest Service & your community that you support the Red Mountain Flume/Chessman Reservoir project: Helena National ForestHeather DeGeest, District Ranger FAX: 406-449-5740comments-northern-helena-helena@fs.fed.us Write “Flume Chessman” in the subject line Helena Independent Record FAX: 447-4052 irstaff@helenair.com Readers' Alley P.O. Box 4249 Helena, MT 59604 And ask these organizations to please withdraw their objections: Steve Kelly, Executive Director Montana Ecosystems Defense Council P.O. Box 4641 Bozeman, MT 59772 Tel: (406) 586-4421 Sara Johnson Native Ecosystems Council P.O. Box 125 Willow Creek, MT 59760 You can help! Here’s how: Questions? Go to http://www.helenamt.gov/tmcwp.htmlor contact Sarah Elkins 406-447-8401, selkins@helenamt.gov Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  3. “The last thing you want to do in a healthy watershed is clearcut 490 acres and build new logging roads,” Steve Kelly, director of Montana Ecosystems Defense Council, said in a press release. “... Clearcutting Helena’s currently stable watershed to prevent the infinitesimally small,theoretical risk of sedimentation makes no sense either.” (italics and bold added) Objection language (Helena IR) http://helenair.com/news/local/environmental-groups-object-to-logging-project-near-city-water-source/article_38bc9186-2d7c-11e3-b2b1-0019bb2963f4.html Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  4. 490 acres of treatment out of 128,000 acres (200 square miles*) of the watershed – less than ½ of 1 percent of the total watershed area • Temporary ½ mile road, plus close & reclaim ½ mile of existing road • Not a “theoretical” risk, recent incidents show dramatic examples of sedimentation following intense wildfire • Not a healthy, stable watershed • *http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2001/0059/report.pdf Red Mountain Flume/Chessman Reservoir Project Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  5. Arizona: Getting Out in Front of Wildfire • http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/arizona/getting-out-in-front-of-wildfire.xml • Fire in a “restored” forest generally mimics natural conditions, keeping to the forest floor, regenerating the understory, and benefitting the forest and the wildlife habitat it provides. • “Only with proactive management can we get ahead of the catastrophic wildfire curve.” • -Sue Sitko, Northern Arizona Conservation Manager Arizona Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  6. Colorado, Denver’s Cheesman Reservoir Cheesman Reservoir after the Hayman fire Photo courtesy of Denver Water Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  7. Colorado Cheesman Reservoir:This photo was taken after the Hayman Fire. It illustrates the benefits of forest treatment.Photo courtesy of Denver Water Denver, Colorado vs Helena, Montana Helena’s Chessman Reservoir:This photo was taken late 2012. We have an estimated 90% mortality in the area. – NOT STABLE Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  8. Untreated Forest Service property Red Mountain area, Montana Treated private property Photo courtesy of USFS Helena National Forest Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  9. Red Mountain area, Montana Treated city property Photo courtesy of USFS Helena National Forest Untreated Forest Service property Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  10. Treated section of the flume,city property Red Mountain area, Montana Untreated section of the flume, Forest Service property Photo courtesy of USFS Helena National Forest Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  11. 90% mortality rate, gray trees Untreated section of the flume, Forest Service property Red Mountain area, Montana Treated section of the flume (foreground), Photo courtesy of USFS Helena National Forest Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  12. Untreated forest service property - 90% mortality rate, gray trees Red Mountain area, Montana Treated city property(foreground),Photo courtesy of USFS Helena National Forest Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  13. Colorado - Photos courtesy of Denver Water • Seven years after the Hayman fire: 2009, just downstream of Cheesman Reservoir. Following a big rain event, the soil continues to erode. The state has had to rebuild a road in that area because it has washed out twice with big rain storms. Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  14. Colorado - Photos courtesy of Denver Water Seven years after the Hayman fire: 2009, just downstream of Cheesman Reservoir. Following a big rain event, the soil continues to erode. Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  15. Western U.S. Water Utilities Take Financial Responsibility for Reducing Watershed Wildfire Risk http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2013/world/wildfire-and-watersheds/ • A major fire could shut down the two reservoirs on the Santa Fe River: • Dredging the debris would cost between $US 80 million and $US 240 million • It costs tens of millions of dollars to fight fires • Added cost of shifting the water supply to groundwater, which must be pumped and treat Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico An AmeriCorps crew performs bank stabilization work at the site of the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  16. A major fire in the Tenmile would shut down Helena’s primary water supply. Costs would include: • Millions of dollars to fight fires • Dredging the debris, rebuilding the flume • Added cost of shifting the water supply to the Missouri River Treatment center for an indefinite timeframe City of Helena Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  17. Montana – Scratchgravel Hills • “…Bonito Lake today is filled with silt and ash from the Little Bear Fire and is no longer viable as a drinking water source for the city of Alamogordo.” • The odor of charred trees and rotting fish permeates the air. • http://savethewater.org/2012/07/usa-drinking-water-contamination-news-brief-bonito-lake-is-ruined-no-longer-safe-drinking-water-source-due-to-little-bear-fire/ New Mexico – Bonito Lake Following the Corral Fire in 2012, a flash flood hit the Scratchgravel Hills, causing blackened run-off in the area. May 30, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqZxnw4bRVU Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  18. Rimini, Montana - May 2011 http://helenair.com/news/montana-braces-for-more-flooding/article_047441a0-875f-11e0-9a66-001cc4c03286.html • Bonito Lake north of Ruidoso is no longer viable as a drinking water source for the city of Alamogordo after flooding from the Little Bear Fire filled it with silt and ash. New Mexico – Bonito Lake (July 2012) http://www.krqe.com/weather/wildfires/fire-debris-floods-bonito-lake?searchType=ALL&compId=15124307 • May 26, 2011 - Ten Mile Creek high flow, causing road damage through Rimini. Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  19. Historic Information – Denver’s Watershed • http://denverwater.org/supplyplanning/watersupply/partnershipUSFS/ • From 1983 to 2002, 250,000 cubic yards of sediment had accumulated in the Strontia Springs Reservoir • Following two fires and significant rainstorms, more than 1,000,000 cubic yards of sediment have accumulated in Strontia Springs Reservoir • Denver Water has spent more than $26 million on water quality treatment, sediment and debris removal, reclamation techniques, and infrastructure projects Colorado Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  20. Credit to the Ten Mile Watershed Collaborative Committee for their commitment and hard work in creating the recommendations document submitted to and approved by the Helena City Commission on June 17, 2009: • http://www.helenamt.gov/uploads/media/TMWCC_Recommendations_--_Final_Document.pdf • Helena Independent Record, Objections to Project • http://helenair.com/news/local/environmental-groups-object-to-logging-project-near-city-water-source/article_38bc9186-2d7c-11e3-b2b1-0019bb2963f4.html • Save the Water Article, Drinking Water Contamination in New Mexico Following Little Bear Fire • http://savethewater.org/2012/07/usa-drinking-water-contamination-news-brief-bonito-lake-is-ruined-no-longer-safe-drinking-water-source-due-to-little-bear-fire/ • KRQE News Brief, Flooding in New Mexico Following Little Bear Fire • http://www.krqe.com/weather/wildfires/fire-debris-floods-bonito-lake?searchType=ALL&compId=15124307 • Helena Independent Record Article, 2013 Spring Flooding • http://helenair.com/news/montana-braces-for-more-flooding/article_047441a0-875f-11e0-9a66-001cc4c03286.html Resources Referenced Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  21. Fire and Rain: The One-Two Punch of Flooding After Blazes • http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/08/31/fire-and-rain/ • YouTube video, ScratchgravelFlooding One Year After Corral Fire • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqZxnw4bRVU • NPR Article, Why Colorado Floods Were So Destructive • http://www.npr.org/2013/10/08/230461400/flood-forensics-why-colorados-floods-were-so-destructive • Historic Information – Denver’s Watershed • http://denverwater.org/supplyplanning/watersupply/partnershipUSFS/ • National Geographic Article: Amid Drought, Explaining Colorado’s Extreme Floods • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130913-colorado-flood-boulder-climate-change-drought-fires/ • National Geographic Article: Colorado Wildfires Threaten Water Supplies • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/07/120703/colorado-wildfires-waldo-high-park-hayman-threaten-water-supplies/ Resources Referenced Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013

  22. Effects on Water Quantity: Fire, Drought, and Water Stress http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/06/04/fire-drought-and-water-stress/ Western U.S. Water Utilities Take Financial Responsibility for Reducing Watershed Wildfire Risk http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2013/world/wildfire-and-watersheds/ Arizona: Getting Out in Front of Wildfire http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/arizona/getting-out-in-front-of-wildfire.xml Where Does Your Water Come From? (Nature Conservancy Report) http://www.nature.org/all-hands-on-earth/where-does-your-water-come-from-report.pdf Objections:Montana Ecosystems Council http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/94938_FSPLT3_1458854.pdf Native Ecosystems Councilhttp://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/94938_FSPLT3_1458356.pdf Resources Referenced, continued Hometown Helena, 10/31/2013