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House in Glacier National Park failed to get permit and must be torn down

Private home being built in Glacier National Park failed to get proper permits
Posted at 9:23 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 13:18:39-04

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - A home being built on private land within Glacier National Park in the Apgar area has drawn quite a bit of attention, and now, it will be torn down.

The home was built directly on the stream bank of McDonald Creek.

It's private property within the park boundary that has been grandfathered since before the park's creation.

The Flathead Conservation District received 17 complaints about the building's location and the possibility that the owner did not file for a 310-law permit.

The permit is required for any work with the potential to impact the bed or banks of perennial flowing streams in Montana. From the FCD website:

In Montana, you are required to get a permit from a Conservation District if you are doing any work in or near a stream. These permits are required under the Montana Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act, known as the 310 Law. The Flathead Conservation District administers 310 permits for the Flathead County area. There is no cost to getting a permit, but it can take 30-60 days to receive your permit. If you own property along a waterway, this law applies to you. Realtors, developers, contractors, and engineers should be aware of this permit requirement, but it is the responsibility of the landowner to have a permit before any work is done.

"The intention of the law is to preserve the stream bed and banks in as close to their natural condition as possible. That's because the stream bed and banks provide such important services and habitat. The intent of the law is to preserve those really important natural functions," said Samantha Tappenbeck, Flathead Conservation District Resource Conservationist.

At a Conservation District board meeting on March 13, 2023, it was determined that no one applied for the free 310-law permit for the location.

“If they had applied, then I can't speculate on whether or not their application would have been approved or denied, but they did not apply prior to doing that work,” said Tappenbeck.

The building has been ordered to be removed and the area remediated after the creek recedes from the high-water point, but before November 1, 2023.


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