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Lone Moose Meadows agrees to restore damaged wetlands and pay $165,000

Release Date: 11/4/2005
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      DENVER -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Lone Moose Meadows, LLC, of Big Sky, MT, which will perform restoration and mitigation at its mountain development after destroying wetlands and discharging material into waters of the United States without a permit. Lone Moose Meadows will also pay a penalty of $165,000.

Lone Moose Meadows, a limited liability corporation comprised of Blixseth Group, Inc. and Voyager Lone Moose, LLC, discharged dredged or fill material into wetlands adjacent to the Middle Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River during construction of roads, two bridges and other features associated with a residential development located midway between Meadow Village and Mountain Village at Big Sky, MT.

Inspectors from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality observed 100 feet of wetland adjacent to the Middle Fork that was disturbed during the placement of a sewer line. They also observed fill in the Middle Fork from construction of a bridge, plus fill placed in an unnamed tributary and associated wetlands of the Middle Fork during installation of six culverts for road construction, obliteration of a designated wetland area during construction of a condominium, and fill placed in an unnamed tributary of the Middle Fork during the building of a 120-foot culvert for the development of a ski run.

Lone Moose Meadows did not obtain a COE permit before performing the work.

EPA issued an administrative compliance order on Jan. 28, 2003, requiring Lone Moose Meadows to provide a complete accounting of the areas of impact or disturbance to wetlands and other waters on the site and to submit a draft restoration plan. The plan requires restoring some of the wetlands to their original condition as well as creating new wetlands for the wetlands that cannot be restored. This plan has been approved by EPA and is being implemented by Lone Moose Meadows, LLC.