The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission has postponed until mid-December making any endorsement of a long-range management plan prepared by Fish, Wildlife & Parks for Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park near Whitehall. That decision is now scheduled to be made at the Commission's December 11-12 meeting in Helena.
The postponement will allow Commissioners additional time to review a draft of the management plan, the draft decision notice on the environmental assessment conducted in conjunction with the plan's preparation and public comments received on the draft plan. Commissioners were slated to take action on the proposed future management plan at their November 7 meeting in Helena.
The management plan and the environmental assessment address a number of park issues or proposed improvements, including: new trails; allowable trail uses; campground group use improvements; hunting in the state park; cave tours; the initiation of a study to determine if off-trail cave tours are feasible; establishment of a fishing access site on the Jefferson River; the initiation of a study to determine if additional concession services are needed; and construction of a new public contact center at the park entrance to replace the existing A-frame information center.
FWP Region 3 Supervisor Steve Lewis has recommended adoption of the preferred alternative in the original environmental assessment.