Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) proposes to purchase a conservation easement on approximately 2,825 acres of private land from the Potter Brothers Farms. The property is located approximately 2 miles southwest of Vandalia in Buffalo Coulee, and also includes property located 4 miles northwest of Glasgow, and 2 miles east of Tampico on the Milk River.
The proposed easement will preserve the integrity of the native habitats and traditional agricultural use of this property, and will maintain public access to this land. The primary habitats that will be conserved and enhanced on this property include riparian corridors, sagebrush and shrub grasslands, and plains grasslands. A rest rotation grazing system will be implemented to maintain and improve wildlife habitat on the property.
Critical winter range for migrating antelope, and habitat that serves as migratory linkage to migrating sage grouse, will be perpetuated by maintaining and improving existing habitat. In addition, wildlife use, including sharp-tailed grouse, mule deer, white-tailed deer, ring-necked pheasants, Merriam’s turkeys, mourning doves, several species of ducks, and a wide variety of native species of migratory birds, songbirds, small mammals, and bats, will be perpetuated. (Conservation Easements - 10/18/2012)
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), Region 7, has completed an environmental assessment (EA) for the Seven Sisters Wildlife Management Area Addition project. FWP proposes to purchase by fee title approximately 981 acres of riparian habitat and associated crop land acreage along the Yellowstone River near Crane, Montana, for addition to the existing 560-acre Seven Sisters Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
The public comment period will extend until 5:00 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2012.
(Acquisitions, Trades & Leases - 10/17/2012)
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to provide the WMFGA with a Montana Shooting Range Development Grant. This range is located in the Hellgate Canyon between East Missoula and Bonner, Montana. FWP will provide $22,750 in partial funding to make the following range improvements:
• Earthwork Project
• Road Corner Reconstruction
• New Shooting Bays
FWP published a Draft EA for public review and comment on FWP’s website (http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmentalAssessments/recreation/pn_0125.html) from August 20, 2012 through September 7, 2012. FWP published a legal notice in the Missoulain newspaper and issued a news release announcing the public comment period for the draft EA on August 22, 2012.
Public Comments: FWP received four comments regarding this action, two in opposition, and two in favor. The comments in opposition both cited what appeared to be the lack of compliance with the current law regarding public access options to the shooting range. After internal and legal review, it was determined that WMFGA was out of compliance. However, at FWP’s urging to substantially comply with the law, WMFGA did adequately advertise, staff, and hold a public sight-in day on October 7, 2012.
Based on public, legal and internal review, and WMFGA’s compliance with FWP’s request to hold the public sight-in day, the Draft EA will be adopted as the Final EA. This Decision Notice and the Final EA will serve as the final documents pertaining to this action.
(Decision Notices - 10/09/2012)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) seeks public review of its proposal to conduct a forest salvage operation (harvest of dead or dying lodgepole pine timber) on approximately 80 acres within FWP’s 362-acre Stuart Mill Bay Fishing Access Site (FAS) in Deer Lodge County. The objective is to maintain the property over time so it: provides wildlife habitats; is a forest cover that is healthy and is insect, disease, and fire resistant, while giving consideration to aesthetic values; and is safe for public use. A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared for this proposal. (Restoration & Rehabilitation - 10/05/2012)