City of Bozeman to Host Wetland Code Update Meeting
BOZEMAN — As the City of Bozeman looks to update its wetland code, staff invite all members of the public to learn more about the project and provide input. City staff will host two meetings on Thursday, Oct. 5 – one virtually on Zoom at 12 p.m., and one in person from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Bozeman Public Library, 626 E Main Street. Meetings will begin with a presentation followed by breakout groups.
“Bozeman City Commission has determined that local mitigation of wetland impacts should be a priority in order to enhance quality of life and environmental protections across the city,” Nicholas Ross, Director of Transportation and Engineering, explained. “That’s why this update is so important. We know many in our community care deeply about our wetlands and it’s critical for us to be thoughtful about our ecosystem as we grow.”
The City began looking at an update to the wetland code years ago with the goal of encouraging local wetland preservation and creating a wetland bank, a large protected wetland area. Recent legal changes, including Montana Senate Bill 382 and Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, have impacted the city’s efforts. Notably, the Sackett decision removed federal protections for many of the nation’s wetlands and left management of these areas to states and local governments.
Wetland mitigation involves the creation, restoration, or enhancement of new wetlands to compensate for impacting these areas when developing on the land. The Wetland Code Update project will focus on how mitigation can occur around Bozeman rather than far outside city limits, with an emphasis on providing the greatest positive benefit to ecological resources.
The project aims to be wrapped up and approved by Bozeman City Commission by the end of the year.
For more information on the Wetland Code Update, visit engage.bozeman.net/wetlands.