On April 26, 2012, the Department of Agriculture proposed a rule designating two invasive species management areas due to the presence of Eurasian watermilfoil. Montana Code Annotated 80-7-1010 states, "In a body of water designated as an invasive species management area, taking from the water or possessing any bait animal, dead or alive, including but not limited to crayfish, leeches, and minnows, is prohibited unless approved by the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks." The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks proposed rules in order to allow bait within the Department of Agriculture's invasive species management areas and still minimize the further spread of Eurasian watermilfoil.
Both departments have adopted the proposed rules with changes. Please see the attached notices. (ARM Rules - 07/26/2012)
With this notice Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and the Montana Department of Livestock (DoL) announce their intent to conduct an environmental review of allowing some bison to inhabit lands year-round adjacent to or near the border of Yellowstone National Park. The purpose of this scoping notice is to solicit interests, issues, and concerns regarding this proposal in order to guide our subsequent environmental review. (Species Assessment - 07/23/2012)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), in collaboration with Trout Unlimited and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), seeks public review of its proposal to install large woody debris features on a portion of main-stem Fish Creek that lies within state ownership in Mineral County, WSW of Alberton. The purpose is to improve habitat for native fish, restore natural stream processes and enhance the quality fishing in the project reach.
A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared for this proposal. The EA may be obtained by downloading the files below or by mail from Region 2 FWP, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804.
(Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 07/20/2012)
The enclosed Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared for securing the Chadbourne Diversion. This proposed action combines the interests of native fish conservation and irrigated agriculture. By securing the Chadbourne Diversion, water users served by the Lower Shields River Ditch would continue to receive water according to their water rights. The fisheries component would promote the persistence and protect the genetic integrity of Yellowstone cutthroat trout occupying approximately 375 miles of mostly connected stream habitat.
The aging Chadbourne diversion suffers from several structural problems that threaten its long-term stability. Moreover, it has features that allow rainbow trout to breach the dam which threatens the genetic status of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the watershed above. Consequently, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is collaborating with the Lower Shields River Canal Company on a series of proposed repairs and retrofits. The repairs would include addressing erosion and wear on the face and abutments, and elimination of a large scour hole that threatens to undermine the structure. The fish passage elements would include installation of retrofits to prevent passage of fish through an existing notch and elsewhere along the face of the dam. In addition, construction of a selective fish passage channel would allow native Yellowstone cutthroat trout to access the river upstream of the diversion whereas nonnative fishes would be returned to the river below.
This document is an environmental assessment (EA) of the potential consequences of the various alternatives. EAs are a requirement of the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) which requires state agencies to consider the environmental, social, cultural, and economic effects of proposed actions. This EA considers 3 alternatives:
1. repairing the structure and installing retrofits and the selective fish passage channel
2. no action, and
3. repair of the structure without implementing the fisheries components.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. August 10, 2012. (Restoration & Rehabilitation - 07/19/2012)
The enclosed Decision Notice has been prepared for the Sixteenmile Creek Fishing Access Site. The notice proposes to acquire 89.16 acres of land along a five-mile stretch of abandoned Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way approximately one mile west of Highway 89 and one-half mile west of Ringling, Montana, for the purpose of developing a day use fishing access site (FAS) on Sixteenmile Creek. FWP also proposes to construct a parking area for approximately eight vehicles at the eastern end of the property, an access road to and fencing around the parking area, installation of a vault latrine, and directional and informational signs. One hundred forty-six public comments were received during the June 30 to July 30, 2010, and April 1 to April 30, 2012, comment periods.
It is my decision to proceed with the proposed project, with no changes to the Draft EA.
(Decision Notices - 07/19/2012)