By Robert Lucke
The Milk River headwaters tour held the last week in August was a great success said Havre water expert and tour coordinator Marv Cross.
"We had a total count of 72 people on the busses," said Cross. "People seemed to be absolutely thrilled with the tour and we were very happy about the interest. We had planned for just one bus and had to take two and had to make a lot of changes. We didn't make it to Many Glacier because one bus had its brakes heat up, but it was a good tour."
The headwaters tour was open to the public and included U.S. citizens and Canadians who were interested in where the water that flows down the Milk River comes from and how the agreements with Canada and United States for sharing Milk and St. Mary River's waterwork.
There was lots to see and do in the day and a half tour.
"I think that certainly seeing the siphons that move St. Mary River water into the Milk River really interested many people," said Cross. "And then Sherburne Reservoir was interesting to most."
Tours participants paid only a fifteen dollar registration cost which included transportation and meals. That was due to a thousand dollar grant obtained by the Milk River International Alliance by the DNRC out of Glasgow, according to Alliance coordinator Tracy Teel of Chinook.
Getting into Canada and viewing the St. Mary Dam and Reservoir was impressive and Cross said that everyone was impressed with just how little water was in any of the reservoirs this time of year.
Hill County Weed Supervisor Terry Turner was along to point out noxious weeds along the way.
But more than anything else, people really learned just what keeps the Milk River flowing even in dry years and the international agreements in place to do that, said Cross.
The Milk River International Alliance plans more trips for next year. They plan to visit various parts of the Milk River Irrigation project from its headwaters to Glasgow and the mouth of the Milk.
"It will probably be a couple of years before we visit the headwaters again," said Cross. "But when we do, it will be a full two day tour."
Anyone wanting information about the Milk River International Alliance should contact Marv Cross at 265-5516 or Tracy Teel at 357-2785.