Havre Daily News
They've been a rusty fixture on the Milk River banks for decades, but some of the ugly hulks are on their way out, thanks to a grant from the state.
Dozens of old cars were placed along the river about 50 years ago as a preventative measure against erosion, and the HIll County Conservation District wants them removed.
The district has received a $7,500 state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation grant to help with the removal.
District chair Conrad Nystrom said the cars are no longer needed and “aren't that pretty to look at.”
Aesthetics aren't the only reason Nystrom wants them removed. He also said the car bodies are a hazard to children, recreationists and wildlife, and leak residue that affects the water quality.
The DNRC funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, wildlife biologist Al Rosgaard said Thursday. The FWP money will come from the Havre office's wildlife management funds.
Conservation district administrator Shannon Patterson said FWP will be responsible for the removal.
“It's kind of their baby. I just helped with funding,” Patterson said.
FWP will hire a contractor to remove the cars, Rosgaard said. Rosgaard said the plan is to start removing cars located at the Rookery Wildlife Management Area, owned by FWP, late this fall, when the river is at its lowest level.
Conservation district members are working with the Hill County Commission to remove cars from other areas along the river. After a meeting Tuesday, district members and county commissioners learned that those cars are not located on county land, as originally thought.
Hill County Commissioner Doug Kaercher said Tuesday the county will send a letter to landowners, asking if they would be interested in the cars' removal. If landowners agree, the next step is to research the issue to learn what permits may be needed, the effects of the removal, and where the cars can be disposed.