Connect with us

Local News

The Smith River permit application period begins on January 2



Great Falls, Montana – Floaters wishing to apply for a Smith River permit in 2024 have until January 2, 2024, to do so.

According to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP), there will be several changes in 2024.

The news release states that permits are required to float the 59-mile section of the river between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge and are issued each year through a lottery.

A single permit can be used to float groups of up to 15 people. A person applying for a Smith River permit must be at least 12 years old at the time they submit their permit application.

In the spring of 2024, FWP employees will remove pit toilets from the float-in campsites along the Smith River. All float parties — private and commercial —will be required to pack out their human waste from the Smith River corridor. The Montana Parks Board approved the regulations establishing this pack-out system towards the end of 2023.

It will be necessary for floaters to bring portable restrooms. It will not be permitted to use bag systems or other alternative waste disposal methods like RESTOP2 or Clean Waste. The Eden Bridge take-out has a SCAT (Sanitizing Containers with Alternative Technology) machine that floaters can use to clean and sanitize their portable toilet system.

“Removal of the pit toilets will not only help reduce impacts to natural and cultural resources but also allow more time for the river rangers to focus on other duties, such as public safety and recreation ecology projects like noxious weed control and stabilizing erosion at boat camp landings,” stated FWP Recreation Manager for the Smith River Colin Maas.

The first year that candidates can purchase an additional point for the Smith River Permit is 2024. In essence, a bonus point is an additional opportunity that you can purchase for the permit drawing. If you don’t make the drawing, these points add up year after year.

Bonus points can be purchased by residents for $5 or by non-residents for $50. The year the bonus point is purchased is added to your application. The percentage of permits available for non-residents may not surpass 10% of all permits starting in 2024. During the 2023 Legislative Session, House Bill 846, which included this new law, was passed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *