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)
The attached Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared for the Bannack State Park Pole Building. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) proposes building an 18’ x 24’ shed style pole building on the east side of the existing maintenance facility.
This Draft EA is available for review in Helena at FWP’s Headquarters, the State Library, and the Environmental Quality Council. It also may be obtained from FWP at the address provided above, or viewed on FWP’s Internet website: http://www.fwp.mt.gov .
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will run from July 17, 2012 to August 16, 2012. Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., August 16th, 2012. (Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 07/18/2012)
Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), Region One, has completed an environmental assessment (EA) for a proposed action involving agricultural activities being performed by a private operator to supplement agency activities aimed at improving food and cover managed as wildlife habitat at the North Shore State Park/Wildlife Management Area in Flathead County, Montana.
The draft EA was out for a 2-week public review through July 12, 2012. Seven comments were received, six in favor of the project. The other comment expressed concern about increased crop damage caused by deer and increased risk of vehicle collisions on the adjacent highway. Although the farming will provide some benefit for while-tailed deer, we do not expect this action to increase deer populations or deer use of the fields because this farming proposal would implement farming practices similar to those in the past and on neighboring farm fields. This proposal is intended to benefit primarily waterfowl and upland game birds.
There were no modifications to the draft EA; therefore, the plan is accepted as written, and the draft EA and the decision notice serve as the final document. Based on the EA and public comment, it is recommended that the Commission approve the North Shore SP/WMA farming proposal as written.
(Decision Notices - 07/17/2012)
An interagency working group, including three state agencies - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), the Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC), and the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA), proposes to manage and, if possible, eradicate a noxious aquatic weed, Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM), in Beaver Lake, near Whitefish, Montana. Removal efforts may include use of barrier mats, mechanical removal, herbicide treatments, or a combination of these. The proposed action adheres to the state agency response protocol established in Montana’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Invasive Aquatic Plant Management and Resource Protection 2011. The purpose of the protocol is to coordinate an effective interagency response and, where feasible, contain and eradicate invasive aquatic plants.The proposed action conforms to Montana’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Invasive Aquatic Plant Management and Resource Protection 2011. The proposed action provides opportunity to use barrier mats, mechanical removal, herbicide treatments, or a combination of these to eradicate Eurasian watermilfoil from Beaver Lake. Based on information derived from the interagency working group, environmental review, and public comment, FWP approves the proposed management actions to address the infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil in Beaver Lake. (Decision Notices - 07/17/2012)