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Commercial Use Of Montana Fwp Lands Topic Of Thursday Meeting
Headlines - Region 1

Monday, January 30, 2006

490 N. Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT.  59901CONTACT: John Fraley  406-751-4564  (office)                        EMAIL:  jfraley@mt.gov

 REGION ONE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2006

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COMMERCIAL USE OF MONTANA FWP LANDS TOPIC OF THURSDAY MEETING

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will hold a series of public meetings as the first step in developing rules that would govern the commercial use of lands and waters managed by FWP.  The Kalispell meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2 at the FWP office on 490 North Meridian Road.  This series of meetings is an initial step in scoping the public to identify issues.  People who use FWP lands for a part of their business, such as professional dog trainers and folks who conduct paid birding tours, would be affected by the rules. 

The scoping meeting will be held as part of Region One’s Citizen Advisory Committee meeting.  Everyone is encouraged to attend the commercial use portion of the meeting and then stay on to see how the Committee works. 

"We've had requests to conduct commercial uses at wildlife management areas, such as bird watching tours at Freezout Lake north of Great Falls,” said Charlie Sperry, FWP recreation management specialist in Helena. “The commercial use rules would provide direction on evaluating these types of uses to ensure they are compatible with the intended purpose of a site."  

Commercial use is already occurring at state parks and fishing access sites, and the rules would provide direction on managing these uses. "A tour guide at a historic battlefield can enhance the visitor's experience," said Sperry. "At the same time we need to manage this use properly to protect the artifacts and other features of the site."  

The task is complicated by a need to comply with requirements imposed when federal aid is used to support a site, liability issues, fees and the flexibility to manage unique requests.  

FWP plans to propose the new rules to the FWP Commission for its approval within the 2006 calendar year. The public may learn more about the proposed rules and comment on line by going to the FWP home page at fwp.mt.gov and looking under Public Notices then ARM rules.  

Public comments will be taken at the February 2 Kalispell meeting.  Written comments may also be sent by Feb. 15 to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Attn: Charlie Sperry, 1420 East Sixth Ave., P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; by email to: csperry@mt.gov, or by fax to: 406-444-4952. 

 

-FWP-