Butte may open access to Big Butte overlook to vehicles

Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 17:46:05-04

Story by John Emeigh

BUTTE –  Butte may reconsider blocking motor vehicle access to the popular overlook site on Big Butte. And that would be just fine for many citizens.

“It’s a historic outlook, it’s bee open to the public since its beginning and I’d like to see it stay that way,” said Lynn Heinze.

Last month, the city put a barricade across the portion of the dirt road leading to the overlook to only allow hikers or cyclists access. Since then, the city received complaints from people who found the steep climb to the overlook difficult.

“I actually had to stop three times before I got to the top and rest, so, I did make the hike but it was tough and imagine it’s even tougher for some of the others that have limited mobility or the elderly,” Heinze said.

The Parks and Recreation Board will consider only barring vehicle traffic during the evening hours, more people can access the site during the day. The area was closed due to excessive littering and drug paraphernalia found at the overlook.

“We want to make sure we are keeping this place pristine, safe and make it so people enjoy the area instead of worry about coming across needles or the garbage that we get up in this area,” according to Parks and Recreation Director JP Gallagher.

If the Parks and Recreations Board decides to get rid of the barricades during the day and put them back up at night it may be the easiest way to get over this hurdle and reach a compromise.

“I think that’s a wonderful solution. I think it meets the needs of both our community and the need to keep the illegal activity that’s going on up there down,” Heinze said.

There Parks and Recreation Board will discuss this issue at its next meeting Monday at 11:30 a.m. in the Butte Civic Center. The public is invited.