By Robert Lucke
Park Board members got news of a Montana Supreme Court ruling that might affect Beaver Creek park at their regular January meeting.
The way the ruling is written, Lou Hagener told the board members, open range laws just don't exist any more.
That ruling gave board members questions about their fence waiver bill going before the legislature as it makes its case, partly on open range concepts.
"I talked to the stockgrowers last week about the liability of motorists and stockgrowers," continued Hagener. "(Sen. Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy) said we should not change our bill right now."
Board members and commissioners will be going to Helena at the end of January to testify about their fence waiver bill. They spent some time organizing a meeting for interested members to plan testimony in Helena.
Board chairwoman Kathy Eskestrand reported that she had a letter from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks stating that they had completed a suggested master plan for Beaver Creek Reservoir. A FWP spokesman will attend the February Park Board meeting to explain the plan. Eskestrand also reported that no reply had come to the board regarding the live bait issue at Beaver Creek Reservoir.
Commissioner Pat Conway reported that around 1965 the National Park Service gave Hill County some money to develop some recreational areas. Conway thought that at that time there were some wells drilled and picnic tables built that are still there today and now the National Park Service would like to see some areas from Rotary Hill south designated recreational areas. Conway didn't see any problems with this issue as the areas in question are already established recreational areas.
Kenny Erickson asked the Park Board for permission to hold a snowmobile mogul race on the hillside just west of the Lion's Campground in Beaver Creek Park sometime in February if there is adequate snow in the area.
"Where are you going to get the snow?" asked Park Superintendent Bernie Golie.
"How will it benefit the park?" asked County Commissioner Doug Kaercher.
Board members approved Erickson's snowmobile races with several provisions. There is a minimum charge of $150 or 10 percent of the gate fee along with a $300 deposit.
Superintendent Golie will determine when or if there is enough snow to have the races.
The next regular Beaver Creek Park Board meeting will be held at the Detention Center court room Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.