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New parking regulations for Clark Fork River floaters

Posted at 7:58 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 21:58:53-04

BONNER — Summer is right around the corner and the Clark Fork River is about to be full of water recreators, but this year it will be even easier to find parking.

In March, Missoula County Commissioners passed a resolution prohibiting parking along parts of Juniper Drive and Tamarack Road in Bonner.

“Its always kind of created issues for neighbors and the road is congested," said Michael Kustudia, Milltown State Park manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

Kustudia, says that FWP collaborated with the county to decide that the Milltown State Park confluence would be the best option with 80 parking spots available.

“It has a lot of parking there, a vault toilet. It has a lot of facilities there for them," said Kustudia.

There is also more parking space at the very end of Juniper Drive by the railroad overpass, which allows people to walk down and arrive right in the park’s parking lot.

But do not get ready to float quite yet.

“It way too dangerous to go out there in an inner tube right now, the water is probably 48 or 50 degrees, and its just so high and fast it is just bad news," Kustudia said.

Kustudia also wanted to remind recreators of park gate hours. Gate to confluence opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. Park admission and parking is free for Montana residents but out-of-state visitors must pay $8.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office will enforce the ordinance, which may include towing vehicles in violation