By Martin J. Kidston
The Beaver Creek Road Advisory Committee will hold its second meeting tonight at the Hill County Annex Building in Havre where it will discuss the proposed reconstruction of Route 234 and the environmental hazards the project may pose to the park.
Tonights meeting will be the committees second meeting since it first organized nearly two months ago.
Beaver Creek Highway, properly known as Secondary Highway 234, bisects Beaver Creek Park and offers motorists access to recreation and camping areas within the 10,000 acre park.
However, the park serves as an open range for cattle grazing from September to December, and numerous car/cattle collisions during those months have prompted the state to spend nearly $3 million to improve safety on route 234. Because the improvements will be made using state funds, the highway department is mandated by law to fence the road in order to keep cattle off it.
At the last meeting on Sept. 22, the 16-member committee was asked to go home and summarize the issues that were discussed at the meeting. Ideas ranged from developing off-site water, pioneering a new highway route, limiting fencing to dangerous sections of the road and developing a new grazing plan.
Members were asked to make a list of problems they believe existed within each plan and recommend a course of action. Each committee member was given a copy of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks report on water quality in Beaver Creek to help them make a more informed decision.
The committee will discuss its progress at tonights meeting, set for 7 p.m. at the Hill County Annex Building. The Committee was organized by the Hill County Commissioners to seek a working solution for all parties involved.