Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks (FWP), Region 1, has completed an environmental assessment (EA) for the Pine Grove Pond Fishing Access Site Proposed Addition Acquisition for the purpose of accepting the donation of 5.39 acres of land northeast of Kalispell, Montana, near the Whitefish River and adjacent to the Pine Grove Pond Fishing Access Site (FAS). The proposed addition would access nearly 1,800 feet of river and would allow FWP to provide public access for fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking adjacent to the very popular Pine Grove Pond FAS. This addition would also allow access to and from the Whitefish River for canoeing, rafting, and kayaking. The draft EA was out for a 21-day public review through October 15, 2013. Ten comments were received, all in favor of accepting the donation. Therefore it is recommended to accept the donation pending approval by the FWP Commission and the Montana Land Board. (Decision Notices - 10/18/2013)
FWP seeks public review of its proposal to grant a permanent utility easement to Missoula Electric Cooperative, to replace an existing underground power-line cable and overhead power line with a single underground power-line cable through Russell Gates Memorial Fishing Access Site (FAS). This FAS is located in Missoula County, about 4 miles east of Clearwater Junction. A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared for this proposal. (Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 10/16/2013)
Comment sought on proposed Fishing Regulation change on Seeley Lake in the Western District where bass regulations would go from catch-and-release to no limit. The comment period starts October 15 and extends through November 14th. (Fishing - 10/15/2013)
FWP has issued a Decision Notice for the proposal to build a 32’ x78’ storage building adjacent to an existing fisheries storage building located on United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) land at Fort Peck, Montana. The building will be maintained and owned by FWP. (Decision Notices - 10/09/2013)
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks proposes to purchase by fee title approximately 36.5 acres of riparian crop land along the Yellowstone River near Savage, Montana, for addition to the existing 1,525-acre Elk Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The property is currently operated as a private irrigated farm; the current landowners approached MFWP with an interest in selling. FWP will manage the property for public recreation (including high-quality hunting for pheasant, deer and waterfowl, as well as wildlife viewing) and managed crop lands to provide food and cover resources for wildlife. FWP will purchase the land from its long-time owner for the appraised value of approximately $91,250 (approx. $2,500/acre). Funding will come from the Habitat Montana account or a mix of Habitat Montana and federal sources (State Wildlife Grants), pending U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service approval.
Utilizing the EA and public comment, a decision must be rendered by FWP which addresses the concerns and issues identified for this proposed action.
FWP’s analysis supports acquiring the parcel for addition to Elk Island WMA as proposed. We find there to be no significant impacts on the human and physical environments associated with this project. Therefore, we conclude that the Environmental Assessment is the appropriate level of analysis, and that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. After review of this proposal, it is oue decision to accept the draft EA as supplemented by this Decision Notice as final, and to recommend the acquisition of the parcel for addition to Elk Island WMA.
The Final EA may be viewed on FWP’s Internet website: http://www.fwp.mt.gov or be obtained upon request from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Region 7 Headquarters, P.O. Box 1630, Miles City, Mt. 59301 (406) 234-0900.
(Decision Notices - 10/04/2013)