Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks released its Decision Notice and recommendations that will be made to the FWP Commission regarding proposed changes to the boating rules that would affect portions of the Clark Fork and Bitterroot rivers near Missoula and a small section of the Blackfoot River just upstream from the former Milltown Dam site. The proposed rules address public safety concerns and social conflicts, and would establish some additional sections of the Clark Fork River in the Missoula vicinity that would either be closed to motorized watercraft or limited by horsepower.
Additionally, FWP is opening a 7-day comment period on a proposal to prohibit personal watercraft on the Bitterroot River and sections of the Clark Fork River. The decision to open the comment period was made to ensure that the public is adequately informed about the recommended changes that would affect personal watercraft. This comment period applies only to the recommendation to prohibit personal watercraft on the Bitterroot River and sections of the Clark Fork River. (See News Release and Decision Notice for further information.)
The FWP Commission is scheduled to make a final decision on the proposed boating rules changes at its regular Commission meeting on October 13, 2011 in Helena.
(ARM Rules - 09/30/2011)
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) released a Decision Notice regarding a proposal to provide the Pondera Shooting Sports Club $8,494.89 in partial funding for construction of a protective wall and the extension of the clubhouse roof. (Decision Notices - 09/29/2011)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) proposes transferring non-hybridized eyed eggs and juvenile and adult westslope cutthroat trout (WCT) (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) to currently fishless Smith Creek in the Highwood Creek Drainage from North Fork Highwood Creek, Big Coulee Creek, and/or North Fork Little Belt Creek, all of which are in the Highwood Mountains. A fish barrier was constructed on private land near the confluence of Smith Creek and Highwood Creek in 2011. (Species Stocking - 09/22/2011)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) will be sponsoring public open houses in both Libby and Troy to obtain preliminary public input on the proposed 28,000-acre Stimson Forest Conservation Easement Project. The meetings will run from 5:00-7:30 p.m. and will take place on October 3 in Libby at the First Montana Bank meeting room and on October 4 in the Troy High School Library. The proposed 28,000-acre conservation easement would be purchased below appraised value by FWP using funding from a variety of sources including a recently awarded $4.0 million grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Program. The proposed conservation easement to be held by FWP would help maintain current land uses on these private lands by restricting development and other activities not compatible with continued forest management. FWP will take public scoping comments through November 4. Please contact Gael Bissell at (406) 751-4580 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Conservation Easements - 09/20/2011)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) invites the public to comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the evaluation of potential interim locations for the placement of brucellosis-free bison. The interim locations evaluated include: FWP’s Marias River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Spotted Dog WMA, tribal lands on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations, the Green Ranch (Bozeman), and the Slip ‘n Slide pastures (Corwin Springs).
Public comments will be accepted by FWP from September 15 through 5 p.m. on October 19, 2011, and may be submitted via:
• email to BisonSiteEvaluationEA@mt.gov, or
• regular mail to FWP, Attn: Interim Translocation of Bison EA, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.
Public comments can also be submitted at one of the following regional meetings:
• October 5 in Deer Lodge at 6:30pm in the Community Center
• October 6 in Shelby at 6:30pm in the Toole County Courthouse
• October 17 in Glasgow at 7:00pm at the Glasgow Civic Center, so that interested parties near to the proposed tribal sites can submit comments.
** UPDATE: Addendum added and public comment period extended.
The addendum to the “Draft Environmental Assessment for Interim Translocation of Bison” lists a range of costs and materials that could be used for proposed infrastructure improvements.
This addendum also emphasizes that if there is a finding during the public comment period that leads to the elimination of one of the sites, then the total acres assessed, and the total number of bison that could be placed on any of the remaining locations, could also be adjusted.
THE COMMENT PERIOD ON THIS PUBLIC NOTICE HAS CLOSED.
(Species Removal & Relocation - 09/19/2011)