his environmental assessment (EA) evaluates potential effects on the natural and human environment from actions proposed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks intended to prevent and/or control Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Montana’s free-ranging deer and elk populations. Any actions taken, or any actions not taken per the “no action alternative,” have the potential to affect wildlife populations as well as the economic, agricultural, environmental and social issues directly tied to those wildlife populations. This document represents a coordinated effort using the peer-reviewed science currently available to state and federal agencies and their scientific staffs in the development of a CWD management plan for the state of Montana. (Fish & Wildlife Diseases - 11/19/2013)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) proposes to acquire 147 acres along the Flathead River, 1.5 miles east of downtown Kalispell. Property ownership would be transferred to MFWP by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). The property, currently referred to as the Lincoln property, in reference to a former owner, would be named the Otter Island Fisheries Conservation Area (FCA) and managed by MFWP for open space habitat and dispersed public recreation. In September 2013 MFWP released an environmental assessment (EA) for a 30-day public review.
After reviewing all the public comment and other relevant information, and evaluating the environmental effects, it is recommended that MFWP pursue acquiring the Otter Island Fisheries Conservation Area pending MFWP Commission and Montana Land Board approval of the proposed action. This decision notice together with the draft EA and revised Management Plan will serve as the final documents for this proposal. MFWP believes the completion of this project is in the best interests of protecting water quality and aquatic resources associated with the Flathead Lake and River System; it would provide opportunities to manage and improve habitat for fish and wildlife, and it would provide additional recreational opportunities for the public.
(Decision Notices - 11/19/2013)
FWP is taking comments on the list of waters currently approved for commercial bait seining, along with 20 proposed deletions and one proposed addition to the list. See the attached document for details. A bait fish seining license is required for: 1) persons 15 years of age and older to seine for and transport bait fish for commercial purposes in Montana; and 2) for any person who seines for and has in their possession more than 24 dozen non-game bait fish.
(Fishing - 11/18/2013)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is proposing a project to restore native westslope cutthroat trout to Hyde Creek, Two Medicine River Drainage. Restoration would require the removal of non-native brook trout with an Environmental Protection Agency piscicide containing rotenone. Detoxification of rotenone would occur on national forest lands near the confluence of Hyde Creek and the South Fork Two Medicine River. Historically, streams in the Two Medicine Drainage would have supported westslope cutthroat trout in approximately 857 miles of stream. Currently, the only remaining native populations of non-hybridized westslope in the Two Medicine Drainage are Sydney Creek (1 mile of stream) and Midvale Creek. Sydney Creek is partially protected from hybridization by a small waterfall barrier. Midvale Creek supports a population of slightly hybridized westslope and non-hybridized westslope. Either of these two streams would be the preferred westslope donors if this project were to proceed. (Species Removal & Relocation - 11/14/2013)
On July 15, 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Commission published MAR Notice No. 12-392 pertaining to the proposed adoption of a salvage permit rule. The commission has adopted the rule as proposed with some changes made from the original proposal. Please see the Adoption Notice. (ARM Rules - 11/14/2013)