Missouri-Madison Comprehensive Recreation Plan

boats below the dam

Missouri-Madison Comprehensive Recreation Plan

NorthWestern Energy has prepared the Missouri-Madison Comprehensive Recreation Plan (CRP) to help document and fulfill Project 2188 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license responsibilities for operating its nine hydro-power developments (eight hydroelectric-generating facilities and one storage reservoir) on the Missouri and Madison Rivers in Montana. It is not the intent of NorthWestern Energy or the plan to set public policy, but instead to facilitate collaboration and communication among the various governmental entities that have management jurisdiction for recreation resources in this area and to work within the existing policies, plans and priorities of these agencies regarding management of recreation resources. The public is invited to participate in implementation of the plan through regionally established working groups, the existing framework of managing agencies, and elected officials.

Recreation managers and others interested in the recreation opportunities and resources within the Project Area can use the CRP to:

  • Gain an overall understanding of the recreational resources, issues and trends affecting recreational resources in the Project Area and to consider how specific recreation projects fit within the entire project area.
  • Understand which entity (NorthWestern Energy or its agency partners) is primarily responsible for ongoing operation and maintenance of key recreation sites, services and facilities.
  • Understand how the CRP will be implemented.
  • Guide funding for recreation projects consistent with existing plans adopted by various governmental entities. The CRP does not create mandatory requirements for recreation managers.
  • Understand criteria for funding recreation projects with funds from the Missouri-Madison River Fund (established to fund projects under this CRP) and for NorthWestern Energy matching funds.
  • Find information about how specific recreation projects fit within the context of the river corridor and other resources and management plans.
  • Know how to apply for project funds from the Missouri-Madison River Fund.

Missouri-Madison Recreation Monitoring

NorthWestern Energy conducts recreation monitoring efforts as part of our hydroelectric license. These efforts include annual monitoring of recreation user volume and site conditions, as well as recreation visitor use surveys conducted at regular intervals to assess opinions and satisfaction of visitors to public recreation sites within the corridor. Use the links below to access the most recent information obtained from these monitoring efforts.

Missouri-Madison River Fund

Since 2007, the Missouri-Madison River Fund, a public-private partnership aimed at addressing the ongoing needs for public recreation in the Missouri-Madison Project Area, has leveraged $10.3 million for public recreation enhancements.