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FWP Seeks Comment On Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan

Friday, July 26, 2002

Fish & Wildlife

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comment on a draft plan that takes aim at unwanted plants and animals that invade state lakes and streams.

"Montana has been struggling for years with the impacts of whirling disease, purple loosestrife and most recently New Zealand mud snails," said Chris Hunter, administrator of FWP's Fisheries Division. "How they got into our waters is a mystery. How we deal with them and future aquatic nuisance species is our challenge and the reason for this management plan."

Hunter said aquatic nuisance species affect everything from the environment to transportation and from economics to public health. They include noxious aquatic plants, animals and other organisms.

The goal of Montana's first Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan is to reduce and control the harmful impacts through prevention and management. The draft plan seeks more interagency coordination, implements a rapid response to new introductions and provides tools to federal, state and private organizations to help manage and prevent additional harmful introductions. Adoption of this plan also will make Montana eligible for federal funding to help control invasive species.

Comments on the draft plan are due Sept. 15. A copy of the draft plan is available on-line at www.fwp.state.mt.us. Click on the Public Notices tab. The document is listed in the "Management Plan" category. For more information contact Tim Gallagher (406) 444-2449 or via email, tgallagher@state.mt.us.