Friday, January 15, 1999The Private Land/Public Wildlife Council has finalized a new proposal that addresses the expansion of outfitting net client hunting use (NCHU). The PL/PW Council recently endorsed recommendations that "provide more precise direction to the Montana Board of Outfitters concerning administration of NCHU and outfitter expansion."
Under this proposal, before the Board of Outfitters could approve a NCHU expansion, an outfitter's request would have to meet various absolute criteria--including criteria addressed through public comment--and undergo a Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks analysis. Outfitters requesting an expansion would be required to pay a $500 fee for each new client added to an operations plan, as well as $5,000 per camp for any camps in different FWP administrative regions that are more than 100 miles from the outfitter's primary base of operations.
The PL/PW Council has two legislative bill drafts requested. One would address recommendations involving renewal and funding of the Block Management Hunter Access Program, an extension of the moratorium on new outfitters, and a set limit on landowner-sponsored licenses. The other would address recommendations involving the composition of the Montana Board of Outfitters and the administration of NCHU.
The PL/PW Council will submit a complete report of recommendations to Gov. Marc Racicot this month. For more information, contact Alan Charles, FWP Field Services, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620.