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Hebgen Lake

The Grayling Arm of Hebgen Lake is shallow and subject to warming and producing a poisonous blue-green algae bloom which kills dogs and cattle when they drink the water. A private developer, Duck Creek Properties, owning 323 acres on the east side of US 191 adjacent to the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park, applied to the Gallatin County Commission for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) permit for 969 single-family residences or 1,615 multifamily residences, plus commercial developments and a golf course. A PUD permit allows more diverse uses at much higher densities.

If permitted, water containing herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers will drain off the Duck Creek Properties into nearby Duck Creek and into the Grayling Arm. This will accelerate , caused by nitrogen and phosphorus rich sewage effluent seasonally depleting oxygen levels, in an already warmed Grayling Arm with blue-green algae blooms. Gallatin County approved the PUD! Conservation organizations sued the Gallatin County Commission and Duck Creek Properties and won both in 18th District Court and in the appeal in MontanaÍs Supreme Court. Both courts ruled it was spot zoning designed to benefit one landowner at the expense of the general public. Duck Creek, Grayling Arm, Hebgen Lake and the Madison River are important water bodies and fisheries.

Duck Creek is important trout spawning and rearing habitat. The proposed subdivision is also important grizzly habitat and a migration corridor for bear, elk, moose and buffalo traveling from Yellowstone Park to the Madison Range.

Montana River Action recommends the USFS trade land in the town of West Yellowstone for subdivision by Duck Creek Properties, where conflicts with wildlife would be much less. ~

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