Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks marks 100 years of conservation this month, a celebration that will continue throughout the year.
On March 18, 1901, at the urging of Governor John E. Rickards, Montana's seventh Legislature passed, "An Act to provide for the appointment of a State game and fish warden, deputy game and fish wardens and special deputy game and fish wardens?to examine into and inquire about any violation of the game and fish laws of the state." On April 1, 1901 Gov. Rickards appointed W.F. Scott as Montana's fish game warden, which established what would eventually become today's Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks department.
"The agency turns 100 years old this month, but our state's conservation legacy is the result of the value Montanans have placed on fishing in healthy streams, hunting game in rugged country and preserving cultural treasures as state parks for the enjoyment of Montanans and visitors alike," said FWP Director Jeff Hagener.
To help mark the occasion, renowned western artist Larry Zabel created "Sun River Challenge," an original oil painting that commemorates the creation of the Sun River Game Range. In addition, FWP has published a special edition of Montana Outdoors magazine, and produced its new, award-wining documentary film, "No Need for a Saturday Night." The film chronicles the history of conservation in Montana through the words of Montana cowboy poets Mike Logan, Wally McRae, Sandy Seaton, and Paul Zarzyski, and musicians Jack Gladstone and Rob Quist.
A special Montana conservation poster, video copies of "No Need for a Saturday Night," and copies of Montana Outdoors are available at most FWP offices. Other events include a presentation in the State Capitol Rotunda on March 20, a special U.S. Postal Service stamp cancellation for the Capitol Station on March 30 and television news "Outdoor Reports" that will be produced periodically throughout the year. For more information call 406-444-3051.