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FWP seeking comment on several proposals

Fish & Wildlife

Monday, June 18, 2018

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is taking public comment on several items, including furbearer and trapper seasons and quotas, swift fox conservation strategy and the nongame check-off work plan.

Further information on the items is provided below. Additional clarification and materials can be provided by calling the Wildlife Division office at 406-444-2612 or emailing

Public comments can be submitted by mail or electronically. Comments can be mailed to Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena MT 59620, attention Wildlife Division. Comments can be electronically sent to, or you can click on any of the following links:

All proposed items will be accepting public comments until Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 5 p.m. with final adoption at the August 9 Commission Meeting.

2018/2019 Furbearer & Trapping Seasons and 2018 Quotas

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking public input on its proposal to decrease the bobcat quota in Region 3 from 250 to 150 for the 2018/2019 season.

Region 3 is proposing this change because both the juvenile:adult ratio and the number of bobcats caught per day are declining, likely indicating a declining population. Also, trappers are reporting concerns about fewer bobcats and observing fewer rabbits, the bobcats’ main prey.

FWP is proposing to clarify the definition of a center swivel on the underside of a ground-set foothold trap to be a swivel within five chain links from the trap and the chain/swivel connected to the underside of the trap as close to the center as trap design reasonably allows.

FWP is also proposing to clarify the language about trapping within 1000 feet of occupied dwellings. Below is the current language with the proposed new sentence italicized below.

Occupied Dwellings – Ground sets, including all snares, are prohibited within 1000 feet of an occupied dwelling without written notification of the occupant(s). This requirement does not apply to live cage traps or mouse and rat traps.

Swift Fox Conservation Strategy

FWP is also asking the commission to approve for public comment the draft swift fox conservation strategy. This document promotes swift fox conservation and management by formulating a statewide strategy that facilitates coordinated and effective efforts on the part of interested organizations.

Nongame Check-Off Workplan

The F & W commission review and annually approves the nongame wildlife program’s projects recommended by the department for funding from the nongame wildlife account. While final 2017 tax year donations are unknown at this time, the average received by FWP from the 2004-2016 tax years was $30,000/year. FWP is proposing some combination of the following work in FY19 dependent on the final allocation:

$5,000: Inventory, monitoring and conservation work on Montana Species of Concern and species in need of inventory as determined through a formal ranking process.

$15,000: Non-federal match for a project to learn more about bat roost sites and winter hibernacula in the face of an impending disease.

$10,000: Wildlife viewing and outreach projects that encourage more Montanans to appreciate Montana wildlife.

$5,000: Competitive graduate student stipend for nongame research.

Comment on furbearer and trapper seasons and quotas, swift fox conservation strategy and the nongame check-off work plan will be taken until 5 p.m., July 15.