Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will host six public meetings in December to take comment on its commitments to a recently released plan to conserve and manage Montana's sage grouse.
The meetings will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. An open house will be followed by an informational update set to begin at 7 p.m. Public comments--and additional one-on-one discussions--will follow the update. The sessions are set for:
- Dec. 3 Glasgow Cottonwood Inn
- Dec. 4 Miles City Miles City Community College; Room 316
- Dec. 4 Lewistown FWP Area Office; 2358 Airport Rd.
- Dec. 5 Billings FWP Headquarters; 2300 Lake Elmo Dr.
- Dec. 9 Great Falls FWP Headquarters; 4600 Giant Springs Rd.
- Dec. 10 Dillon Search & Rescue; Twin Bridges Highway
The 180-page draft plan was developed by the Montana Sage Grouse Work Group, a mix of state and federal agencies, hunting groups, Montana Indian tribes, conservation groups, stockgrowers, and individuals, who worked for two years to complete a science-based conservation plan to address factors that may impact sage grouse populations.
FWP has arranged to take comment through Jan. 20, 2003 via FWP's website at http://www.fwp.state.mt.us/--look for the Sage Grouse Plan link in the Hot Topics box; and by mail at Sage Grouse Plan, Montana FWP, P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620-0701.The sage grouse, now with six different petitions submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking for an Endangered Species Act listing, is North America’s largest grouse and is best known for its distinctive spring mating rituals on breeding grounds called "leks."