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PTGR Files Lawsuit to Protect the Gallatin River

Things are moving along in the fight against the glampground development on the island west of Gallatin Gateway.

First, as you are aware, the outcome of our floodplain permit appeal was that the glampground development was approved with the condition that sites in the floodplain must be removed from the property seasonally from November 1 to July 1 each year. We filed a lawsuit against the County Commissioners challenging the decision and the way they handled our appeal. Interestingly, the Pfeils also filed a lawsuit against the Commissioners, even though they basically ruled in Pfeils’ favor. The basis for their counter lawsuit is that the Commissioners did not have authority to impose the seasonal restrictions. Click here to read our lawsuit. The court has agreed to hear both cases simultaneously, with initial briefing due later this fall. We’re asking that the glampground permit be revoked and sent back to the drawing board. We hope to be able to provide an additional update at the end of the year.

Simultaneously, the Pfeils brought their challenge to the local conservation district’s decision on the 310 permit to the Supreme Court. They are fighting the ruling by the District Court that the channel that runs through the glampground property is a jurisdictional spring creek. The importance here is that a stream has protections under the law. The District Court upheld the Conservation District’s ruling that the spring creek is a perennial spring fed stream and NOT a man-made ditch.. If the Supreme Court upholds the previous decisions, it means the Pfeils will have to file a retroactive 310 permit for work already completed without a permit. At that point, the Conservation District has options that include everything from imposing fines to requiring the Pfeils to restore the property back to its original condition.

A second floodplain permit was issued by Floodplain Administrator Sean O’Callahan for parking pads and a public well. This is tied to the first floodplain permit for the development of the glampground. We chose not to appeal that more limited decision.

Our legal costs will be extensive to get through the next round with the District Court. As the year’s end comes into sight and you are thinking about your charitable giving plan, please consider supporting our efforts to protect the Gallatin River from this inappropriate development.

Thank you for your incredible support and for protecting the Gallatin River floodplain in an island from commercial development.

As always, feel free to email us at ProtectTheGallatinRiver@gmail.com. Thank you.

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