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Montana Streamside Management Zone Law (17-MT-d)

Any landowner or operator conducting a series of commercial forest practices that will access, harvest, or regenerate trees on a defined land area for commercial purposes on private, state, or federal lands, must apply for a Streamside Management Zone permit.

The purpose of the permitting process is to protect Montana's forest waters and to conserve streamside zones. Several activities are identified as requiring a permit:

  • broadcast burning;
  • operating wheeled or tracked vehicles except on established roads;
  • clear cutting;
  • constructing roads in the Streamside Management Zone except when necessary to cross a stream or wetland;
  • handling, storing, applying or disposing of hazardous or toxic material in a manner that pollutes streams, lakes or wetlands or that may cause damage or injury to humans, land, animals or plants;
  • casting road material into a stream, wetland or watercourse; and
  • depositing slash in streams or other water bodies.

Streamside Management Zone Law Process

17-MT-d.1 - Notify DNRC

Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation must be notified prior to beginning any forest practice.

17-MT-d.2 - Review Request; Conduct Environmental Review (if Necessary)

DNRC will review the proposal and its alternatives.

A request to conduct an alternative practice must be submitted to the appropriate DNRC field office. Alternative practices will require an environmental review. The request will be reviewed and an initial response issued within 10 days.

(Streamside Management Zone Permit Tips)

17-MT-d.3 - Initial Response

Typically an initial response will be issued to the applicant within 10 days.

Continue to follow standards of practice in Streamside Management Zones according to Rule 77-5-303.

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