Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on changes to the rules for its primitive fishing access sites. The rules identify certain FASs as "primitive" and limit the amount of development and improvements allowed at such sites.
For instance, FWP needs to upgrade some sites by designating camping areas with sign posts, picnic tables, fire rings, and gravel parking spaces.
"That's not possible under current rules," explained Bruce Rich, FWP's chief of fisheries in Helena. "Yet camping has become popular at a number of these primitive sites."
Rich said that despite the lack of designated camping areas at popular primitive FASs, visitors are still camping but are dispersed throughout the sites. This dispersed camping can result in conflicts with other users and lead to soil erosion, the introduction of noxious weeds, increased fire danger, and other resources impacts.
Additional improvements could include gravel entrance roads, parking areas, perimeter fencing, vault latrines, and boat ramps. There are also some FASs where development is already limited and these would be added to the list of primitive sites.
The rules would be further updated to correct some site names, add sites purchased since the adoption of the rules in 1999, remove some sites no longer owned by FWP, and remove improved sites or those scheduled for improvement.
Comments are due Oct. 11. For more information, or to comment, visit FWP's website at at fwp.mt.gov. Click "Public Notices." Comments can also be sent via email to email@example.com; or via regular mail to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; Attn: Primitive FAS Rule; P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620-0701.