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Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Management

Photo of a Idaho Giant Salamander

Idaho Giant Salamander

In the early years of fish and wildlife management, the focus was on restoration of game animals and their habitats. This focus was, and continues to be, a result of hunters and anglers providing most of a state fish and wildlife agency's funding through purchasing hunting and fishing licenses. However, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is statutorily mandated to manage all wildlife, including species not typically fished for or hunted.

Without reducing the attention focused on important game species, FWP needs to find a way to manage for other species with the most critical needs. The problem is, however, funds to manage other species are very limited.

To help address the conservation needs of these other wildlife species, Congress created the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) funding program in 2000. SWG funds are intended "... for the development and implementation of programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species that are not hunted or fished." Congress stipulated that each state and territory that wished to participate in the SWG funding program must develop a State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) by October 1, 2005. All 56 states and territories submitted SWAPs by the deadline and made commitments to review and perhaps revise their SWAP at least every 10 years.

Photo of a Pearl Dace

Pearl Dace

Montana's revised SWAP was approved on July 15, 2015