Wolf Creek FAS Proposed Improvement Project

#TBT Wolf Creek FAS Proposed Improvement Project

Wolf Creek FAS Proposed Improvement Project

Ed Note: Lots of conversation about the updated, paved, striped Wolf Creek Boat Ramp since completion late October. The WC FAS has been changed, to exactly the proposal below. It is identical to the superimposed image below.

We’ve had several folks complain to us, here at Headhunters, that we should have done something about the plan. Monday Morning Quarterbacks. 

We did bro.’

This article published March 6th 2016. We followed the protocol and commented on the plan, during the comment period. We, us, you, the rest that commented, did not effect change. Proactive attempts are historically more effective than reactive behaviors. But this time it did not work to our favor. Sometimes we don’t win.

A few local outfitters and guides are sniffing around trying to find out more info, and to see if there is any way to change the striping pattern. That is the issue. Clearly the designers have never payed Tetris. Most anglers have.

Bottom line is that the deed is done. So, we will keep you updated on this winter hot topic. Along with the meeting last night. Spoke to a couple attendees and they stated that the process is slow, and we will know more in February. A re-write of the last draft is happening. You are up to date on this incendiary issue.

Posted March

A few big projects in the Craig area this year. The Wolf Creek FAS Proposed Improvement Project is up for discussion April ’16. Or the beginning of this process anyway.

I have read the entire Environmental Assessment and it looks square to me. The list of improvements includes…

  • Paving the area
  • Adding designated parking spaces. 26 boat and trailer slots. 4 car sized slots.
  • Installing a drain for storm water reclamation
  • Adding another latrine. Now Wolf Creek Boat Ramp will have 2 bathrooms.
  • Add two covered picnic area
  • $170,000 price tag

Wolf Creek Boat Ramp EA

Proposed Action

In an effort to accommodate increasingly heavy public use, to improve recreational facilities, and reduce resource degradation at Wolf Creek Bridge FAS, FWP proposes to improve parking, camping, and storm water drainage facilities at the site. Proposed improvements include designating and paving the parking area, relocating and improving the campsites, controlling storm water drainage, and installing an additional latrine and two picnic shelters.

Summary of Existing Site

The 2-acre Wolf Creek Bridge FAS has been a very popular and heavily used recreational site since FWP first leased the property in 1970. Existing facilities at the FAS include: an unimproved parking area consisting of gravel and broken asphalt; a single-wide, concrete boat ramp; a concrete vault latrine; an ADA handicap-accessible concrete parking pad; five primitive campsites with tables and fire rings; perimeter fencing; two benches along the river; and directional, informational, interpretive, and regulatory signs.

Both resident and non-resident visitor use of Wolf Creek Bridge FAS is heavy year round for boat launching and take-out and angler use of this stretch of the Missouri River averages the 3rd most heavily used stretch in Montana. Conditions at Wolf Creek Bridge FAS reflect decades of continuous heavy and uncontrolled use. Random vehicle parking in the undesignated parking area often results in vehicles blocking other vehicles. Erosion of and around the undefined parking area creates dust and sedimentation of the river. In addition, the existing primitive campsites are located in an unappealing, hazardous location, within 40 feet of Craig Frontage Road. FWP proposes to improve the parking and camping facilities at Wolf Creek Bridge FAS, including: 1) paving and improving the parking area and defining four designated single and 26 truck/trailer parking spaces; 2) constructing a storm water detention area to control run-off; 3) establishing three designated campsites with fire rings and tables on the other side of the FAS and away from Craig Frontage Road; 4) installing an additional concrete vault latrine; 5) installing two picnic shelters with two picnic tables in each and 6) installing barrier rocks to control vehicle access.

Make a Comment to FWP about the Wolf Creek FAS

You can make a suggestion or a comment to the Fish, Wildlife, and Park gang if you wish. Why not let them know you are interested in making the Wolf Creek access site better. Follow this link and comment in the box at the bottom of the page. Comment period ends at the end of March. Get in there and leave a comment.

FWP Comment Page

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6 Comments. Leave new

Nice post, thank you.
The layout of the improvements seem as though the designers have never been to the site during peak season.
While the pavement struck me as a good Idea at first, mostly due to the window replacement from gravel being cast at my truck by spinning tires, I wonder how accessible the boat ramp will be in the winter.
Also, it seems that the campsites have better protection from the wind where they currently sit behind the bridge embankment and lets consider the breeze that blows through that stretch of the river three or four days per year( ha ha ). It seems keeping the campsites where they are would maintain the buffer zone between the fire rings and adjacent property owners’ field. Personally I would hate for the land owner to have to deal with property loss and then possibly consider closing access to the river.
OK, just a couple more things and I’ll shut up.
Will the storm water retention pond become a mosquito breeding habitat? And shame on any designer to consider placing a campsite in proximity of such a heavily used vault toilet.
Sorry for the rant

    I’m in agreement with Rick, his points are spot on. One other thing that was overlooked is the heavy usage by kayak, canoe and one man pontoon boats. I would suggest placing 5-6 larger single vehicle staging only spots in the area where the 4 paved single vehicle parking spots are ( and part of the the proposed camp spots ). This would allow the smaller one man boats a place to pre stage close to the ramp so they wouldn’t block ramp space. They could then launch quickly, carrying their boats down the ramp.
    Just some thoughts from someone who uses the ramp frequently!

Jim Williams
March 6, 2016 7:17 pm

Thanks for keeping us posted Mark. I submitted my comments to FWP, including some concerning the mosquito and staging-area concerns outlined above. I’d like to see more campsites, but also realize what a heavy day-use area it is. Doesn’t look like the 2 acres is quite all being used to its full potential. Its busy, so we all gotta cram in there!

From a Missouri River camper/fisherman, who usually finds space in Craig, I agree with Rick that the sites here at the bridge are better off where they are…albeit, improvements would be welcome. Also agree w/Jim that potential usage might not be utilized to its’ fullest. All this being said, I cannot imagine FWP coming up with ANYTHING w/o some disagreements from us who use it. I will submit my thoughts. Thanks for the post.

I think the overall gist of this blog is that we all need to be more vocal when we still CAN have a voice in the matter. Now it’s done, complete and kaput. It does us little good to complain now, or yell at Mark for not doing enough when the public comment period has been closed for nearly nine months.
We need to make the comments when Mark gives us the heads up that FWP is accepting comments, aka the Upper Missouri River Management Plan which is open for comments NOW.

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