3 Forks of the Flathead Wild & Scenic River Comprehensive River Management Plan
Page updated: November 4, 2019
The Flathead National Forest, in coordination with Glacier National Park, has begun the process to prepare a Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) for the 3-Forks of the Flathead River.
The 3-Forks of the Flathead was designated a Wild and Scenic River in 1976 and is a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. It encompasses the North Fork of the Flathead from the Canadian border to its confluence with the Middle Fork, the entire Middle Fork, and the South Fork from its headwaters to Hungry Horse Reservoir. The North Fork and the lower Middle Fork form the boundaries between the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. Portions of the Middle and South Forks flow through the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness Areas. A total of 219 miles of the Flathead River are included in the designation.
The Wild and Scenic River Act became law in 1968. It is intended to recognize that certain selected rivers of the nation possess outstanding, remarkable scenic, recreational geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values that shall be preserved in free flowing condition and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The river and surrounding lands offer recreational opportunities and access to outstanding resources for a variety of public lands users. The CRMP will address the current status of these resources, outline goals and desired conditions, determine user capacities, and create a monitoring strategy and plan to carry forward.
The public is encouraged to contribute to this planning effort that will secure the outstanding remarkable values of the 3-Forks of the Flathead River for future generations. The planning team will be reaching out to the public to provide information on background of the statutory requirements of a CRMP under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, describe the need for change from the current river management plan and to gather public input on management issues for the CRMP.
This CRMP effort will be coordinated by HydroSolutions Inc, a Helena, Montana engineering, water, and natural resource consulting firm, who was recently awarded the contract to complete the CRMP after a competitive bid process. Bids for the project were received and reviewed by the Flathead National Forest under an existing Region 1, USDA Forest Service Indefinite Delivery/ Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract. Work began in October 2017 and is scheduled for completion in 2020.
- November 4, 2021: Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River: Comprehensive River Management Planning Resumes
- July 31, 2019 Scoping Release
- Click here to find pre-scoping news releases.
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- Flathead National Forest Wild & Scenic Rivers Page
- Outstandingly Remarkable Values Assessment of the Flathead River System, Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park, January 2013 (pdf, 4 mb)
- River Corridor Regulation and Brochures Page
- Flathead Wild and Scenic River Management Plan, 1980 (pdf, 7mb)
- Flathead Wild and Scenic River Recreation Management Direction, 1986 (pdf, 7mb)
- Flathead Wild and Scenic River Proposal EIS, March 7, 1977 (pdf, 9 mb)
- Wild and Scenic River Study Report for the Flathead River, 1975 (pdf, 6.2 mb)
Visit the Project Page for the Flathead Comprehensive River Management Plan to read related Project Documents
For more information, please call Flathead National Forest Recreation Program Manager, Chris Prew at 406-758-3538.