Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), Region One, is seeking public comment for a proposal to conduct a 6-year effort to investigate suppressing illegally introduced walleye in Noxon Reservoir using a variety of sampling gear and techniques. Beginning in spring of 2013 and continuing until 2018, MFWP proposes to intensively electrofish and/or gillnet the upper portion of Noxon Reservoir from Flatiron FAS to the Thompson Falls Dam until the end of May or June, or until walleye are no longer concentrated in the spawning area. Additionally, these or other techniques may be used to exploit other seasonal concentrations of walleye throughout the reservoir over the 6-year project time line.
The draft is out for public review through April 19, 2013. Please contact FWP Fisheries Biologist Kenneth Breidinger, (406) 827-9320 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
(Restoration & Rehabilitation - 04/10/2013)
An Environmental Assessment (EA) proposes to introduce westslope cutthroat trout into 20 fishless streams across the Big Hole, Madison, Gallatin and Jefferson River drainages in an effort to conserve local populations that may be at risk due to competition and hybridization with non-native trout or other factors such as small population size, limited habitat and random events such as fire and floods. (Restoration & Rehabilitation - 04/08/2013)
The enclosed Decision Notice has been prepared to consider a coordinated rest-rotation grazing program on Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Cameron, MT, for a five-year term to extend April 2013 through October 2015. The program, which began in 1982, consists of a spring and fall grazing fee-grazing agreement with the Wall Creek Grazing Association (WCGA).
The proposed grazing program would encompass 6,149 acres owned by FWP, 918 acres that FWP leases from Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and 300 acres owned by the BLM. There are an additional 9,503 acres of Forest Service land incorporated in this coordinated grazing system. Total acreage affected by the proposed action is 16,870 acres.
Slight modifications to the Draft Environmental Assessment have been made as noted in the FWP response. The Draft Environmental Assessment, together with this Decision Notice, will serve as the final document for this proposal.
It is my decision, based on the Environmental Assessment and public comment, to approve the implementation of Alternative B for renewal of the grazing lease on Wall Creek WMA for a five year period, and that there will be no significant impacts on the human and physical environments associated with this project. I therefore conclude that the Environmental Assessment is the appropriate level of analysis, and that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. The Decision Notice may also be obtained from FWP at the address provided above, or viewed on FWP’s Internet website: http://www.fwp.mt.gov.
(Decision Notices - 04/05/2013)
Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Justice, Natural Resource Damage Program requested 1 3/4 miles of the Clark Fork River, ten acres of the Warm Springs Wildlife Management Area, and a road in the wildlife management area be closed to public occupation due to Superfund cleanup construction activities. The Superfund cleanup activities require heavy equipment with large loads in an area of recreational use. The closure is necessary so construction crews can safely operate and maneuver without potential collisions with recreationists on the river or on the land. The closure is also necessary so recreationists, including those with limited maneuverability, are not subject to potential collision with large equipment or loads being carried by heavy equipment. (ARM Rules - 03/29/2013)
In a draft environmental assessment (EA) dated August 9, 2012, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) proposed removing an illegal introduction of northern pike from Bass Lake and Mud Creek in northwest Montana by applying a commercial formulation of rotenone (a pesticide poisonous to fish) to the lake and nearby stream system, and then restocking the lake with westslope cutthroat trout.
The draft EA was out for public review through October 9, 2012, and a public meeting with landowners was held on December 12, 2012, in Eureka. Based on the comments received during the public comment period and at the public meeting, MFWP acknowledges the public’s concerns, and it is recommended that MFWP does not implement plans to chemically remove northern pike from Mud Creek and Bass Lake at this time. Instead, over the next two years FWP will involve the landowners in exploring alternative means of suppression including use of electrofishing, nets, and traps. FWP will also work with interested parties to understand how rotenone functions in the environment. At the end of two years FWP will analyze the information and develop a long-term management plan for Bass Lake, conducting additional environmental assessment if necessary.
No changes were made to the draft EA; therefore, the draft together with the decision notice will become the final document. Contact person: Fisheries Biologist Jim Dunnigan, (406) 293-4161, Ext. 200, or e-mail to email@example.com.
(Decision Notices - 03/29/2013)