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Friday, April 20th
3:00 PM

Geochemistry of Amended Sulfide Mine Wastes in the Upper Clark Fork Basin

W. Schafer, Schafer & Associates

3:00 PM - 3:20 PM

3:20 PM

Economic Valuation of Fisheries: Nonmarket Studies in the Clark Fork Basin

John Duffield, University of Montana, Missoula

3:20 PM - 3:40 PM

This paper provides an introduction to methods used by economists a value nonmarket resources. Recent applications to valuing Montana trout stream fisheries, including the major waters in the Clark Fork Basin are described. One finding is that the present recreational value of the Montana stream fisheries is quite large on the order of 3.0 billion dollars. This estimate is conservative since includes nonangling recreational use and potentially significant existence (or intrinsic) values. The valuation across streams varies considerably reflecting differences in both water quality and quantity. The highest value/mile (annual basis) in the state IS on the Madison River at $184.000/mue. The Upper Clark Fork value per mile ($7.400) is the second lowest for the group of 20 major waters compared. Angler characteristics (such as average distance traveled. fishing technique angler preferences. and mean trip length) also vary considerably across site and help explain differences in value per trip. Consistency, reliability and precision of the results are discussed.

3:40 PM

Baseline Hydrologic Monitoring for Mining Projects

Douglas C. Parker, Noranda Minerals Corporation

3:40 PM - 4:00 PM

Objectives of baseline hydrologic monitoring are dependent on and derived from the ultimate use of the data. Baseline hydrological data collection for mining projects typically has several functions including: 1) assembly of adequate information to obtain an understanding of hydrologic and hydrogeologic systems; 2) documentation of baseline conditions for permitting and public disclosure purposes; and 3) documentation of baseline conditions for comparison with future conditions to be measured during mine operation. The scope of such investigations and level of detail required for these different objectives may vary significantly. It is in the interest of mining project proponents, the public and the regulatory agencies to ensure that baseline studies are adequate to meet these objectives.

Collection of adequate information to understand the hydrologic system typically requires an inventory of surface and ground water features, characterization of surface and ground water quality, identification and quantification of ground water flow regimes, depth to groundwater, aquifer characteristics, determination of stream flow variation, and establishment of the degree of seasonal variation in these parameters.

The baseline water resources monitoring program conducted by ASARCO, Inc. for the proposed Rock Creek Mine near Noxon, Montana illustrates several issues relating to baseline hydrologic monitoring for mining projects. ASARCO has developed a comprehensive database and has collected more hydrologic baseline data than any mining project in Montana. The proposed Rock Creek Mine is located in the headwaters of Rock Creek, which is a tributary of the Clark Fork River (Figure 1). The Rock Creek ore body underlies the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness Area and will be mined by underground mining techniques from an access point outside of the wilderness area. The proposed mine related surface facilities would be in the Rock Creek drainage except for portions of the tailings impoundment, which is near the Clark Fork River. Rock Creek is an intermittent stream with a drainage area of approximately 33 square miles al its confluence with the Clark Fork River just below the Noxon Rapids Dam, about twenty miles east of the Montana/Idaho stale line. Baseline monitoring has focused on surface water and ground water in the Rock Creek drainage near the proposed facilities in the tailings impoundment area.

4:00 PM

Hazardous Wastes from Large-scale Metal Extraction: The Clark Fork Waste Complex, MT

Johnnie Moore, University of Montana, Missoula
Samuel Luoma, U.S. Geological Survey

4:00 PM - 4:40 PM

Large-scale metal extraction has generated extensive deposits of hazardous waste worldwide. Mining began more than 125 years ago in the Clark Fork drainage basin, western Montana, and contributed to primary, secondary and tertiary contamination over an area 115 the size of Rhode Island and along hundreds of kilometers of riparian habitat. This complex of waste deposits provides numerous examples of technically difficult problems in geochemistry I hydrology, ecology and epidemiology associated with characterizing, understanding and managing hazardous mine wastes.

4:40 PM

Science and the Basin Citizen

Peter Nielsen, Clark Fork Coalition

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

Most people who live, work and play in the Clark Fork River watershed know little or nothing about scientific inquiry on our water quality and aquatic resources. But whether we know it or not, we all benefit from the work of those who strive to improve our understanding of the river and its environs, many of which are detailed in these symposium proceedings.