Off the banks of the Milk River


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John Kelleher Havre Daily News [email protected]

The bodies of two dozen cars, most of them 40 to 50 years old, were towed from the shore of the Milk River. The project was coordinated by the Hill County Conservation District and the Milk River Coalition. Jennifer Kenck, conservation district administrator, said the project has several environmental advantages. Less rust will wash downstream, she said. There will be less motor oil seeping out of the cars and into the river. There were fears that the cars would wash downstream if a flood occurred, she said. The the dike behind the area is a popular walking site. "These cars have been quite an eyesore," she said. A few of the cars remain in the river, she said. It sas virtually impossible to dig them out of the mud. Lakeside Excavation of Havre won the bid for the project. The cars were placed on the shoreline a half-century ago as erosion tools, she said. The cars were rusted away, and Lakeside workers had a hard time getting some of them out without disturbing the vegetation, she said. "Some of the cottonwood trees had some branches snapped," she said. "But for the most part, very little damage was done." "They tried very hard to preserve the old growth," she said. This was the second in a three-phase project that will be undertaken this year, she said. The program has received attention. "We are getting more calls from people who are asking 'can you guys help us out,'" she said. Later this year, about 10 more cars will be towed out of property owned by Randy and Jessica Jones. The cars were there long before the Jones' owned the land, she said. "The cars are older than they are," she said.


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