Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment July 1- Aug. 31 on proposed statewide river recreation management rules.
“The rules provide guidance on managing river recreation in order to prevent or resolve social conflicts,” said Charlie Sperry, FWP’s river recreation management specialist.
The proposed rules reflect the recommendations of the River Recreation Advisory Council, public comments on the council’s recommendations, and input from FWP and the FWP Commission.
Under the proposed rules, future river management decisions must consider the public’s interests and data on river conditions. A citizens advisory committee would help develop local management plans to include local interests and the unique characteristics of a river or stream.
The rules also provide direction on issues such as river outfitting, resident and nonresident use, and rationing and allocation of river recreation opportunities.
The groundwork for the proposed rules was the River Recreation Advisory Council’s 33-page report, “Recommendations for Managing Recreation on Rivers and Streams in Montana,” presented to the FWP Commission last year.
The River Recreation Advisory Council was appointed by the FWP Commission in July 2002. It consists of a diverse group of 22 citizens representing resident and nonresident anglers and boaters, outfitters, the tourism industry, landowners, the Montana Legislature, and the FWP Commission.
A copy of the proposed river recreation management rules can be obtained from the FWP web site at www.fwp.state.mt.us/fishing/riverrecreation.asp, or by calling 406-444-3888.
Public hearings will be held in Great Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Butte, Dillon, Bozeman, Billings, Miles City and Glasgow in July and August. Hearing dates will be announced in local papers and on the FWP web site.
Written comments must be sent by Aug. 31 by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: River Recreation Management Rules, Attn: Charlie Sperry, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 1420 East Sixth Ave., P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.