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Havre Field Office
Release Date: 04/15/11
Contacts: Stanley Jaynes (406) 262-2820    

BLM Planning Controlled Water Releases in Northern Blaine County

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin controlled water releases at the BR-12 and Anita reservoirs in northern Blaine County on April 17 or 18, as a means of preventing undue flood damage to the reservoir structures.

BR-12 was constructed almost 80 years ago and in addition to providing livestock water, is a designated Watchable Wildlife Area. It is located on BLM managed public land 12 miles north east of Chinook, Montana. This reservoir has a capacity of 321 acre feet of water; is located in the 15-Mile drainage; and is classified as a low hazard dam. However, rapid snow melt and runoff eroded a portion of the dam face around the existing pipe structure on Tuesday, April 12, and the reservoir was in danger of breaching. The BLM and a local contractor were able to temporarily repair the dam face and are now constructing a controlled draw-down spillway to start releasing water in a controlled manner.

Anita Reservoir is located 23 miles north of Chinook, Montana. It has 794 acre feet of storage capacity and is classified as a high hazard dam. The reservoir was recently repaired and this is the first year it is scheduled to hold water. Anita was built for releasable storage, but also provides water for livestock and wildlife. The current water level is approximately 10 feet above the desired first year fill estimate and a controlled release via the pipe structure may be necessary to prevent undue damage to the dam face and/or the pipe structure.

The BLM is working with the Blaine County Disaster and Emergency Services, the county sheriff and county commissioners and the National Weather Service concerning these planned releases.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Havre Field Office   3990 Hwy 2 West      Havre, MT 59501  

Last updated: 06-28-2012