Advocating For Fort Peck and Eastern Montana
April 29, 2020
Since the spillway at Fort Peck graced the first cover of Life Magazine, Fort Peck Dam and lake have been the crown jewel of Northeast Montana. Most of us that have been around the area a "few" years had friends and relatives that worked on the dam in the 1930s. The original authorization of the project was for flood control, navigation and jobs. The over 10,000 workers, needed to build Fort Peck Dam, were happy to have work in the new boom towns. In later years, hydropower, recreation, irrigation, water supply and wildlife were all added as authorized uses.
Kudos to all who have worked to enhance Fort Peck in so many ways; the Breakwater and Marina, Fort Peck Summer Theater, Fish Hatchery, Veterans Memorial, Interpretive Center, campgrounds, boat ramps, Governor's Cup, and on and on. Fort Peck is truly a wonderful unexpected oasis on the prairies of the Hi-Line.
Over the years my family, like so many here, has spent happy times at Fort Peck, swimming and water skiing, fishing, camping, and taking tours of the Power House and Interpretive Center. The clear water is such a reset after hot days on the farm. Fort Peck and agriculture in Eastern Montana need an advocate in the Governor's Office, which is why I'm running with Whitney Williams as her choice for lieutenant governor.
I am an irrigated farmer about 100 river miles downstream of the dam, and I am also fortunate to be a Fort Peck cabin owner. I became involved in Fort Peck issues over 30 years ago, starting with how operations affected the river downstream. I participated in the 13- year Master Manual review and the Missouri River Basin Association, and I spent 10 years on the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee. Ensuring that Fort Peck is managed to benefit Montana is a never-ending task, with almost constant effort to change management and the Master Manual. Even now, downstream states that have had severe flooding are asking for more flood control storage, which could drastically change Fort Peck Lake levels.
When Whitney Williams asked me to be on her ticket as Lieutenant Governor, I hesitated due to the hostility of today's politics, but Fort Peck, the river, agriculture, and Northeast Montana need a strong advocate in Helena, and I agreed to join her. If you honor me with your vote, Fort Peck and the area will have a strong voice in the Governor's office.
Buzz Mattelin is a candidate for Lt. Governor. He is running alongside Whitney Williams for the Democratic nomination.