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Wild River Conservation Easement Project- Decision Notice


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is recommending that the Fish and Wildlife Commission approve the purchase of a conservation easement on the Wild River property owned by Vital Ground. FWP released a draft EA for public comment from January 29 to February 17, 2020. FWP received 26 public comments that are addressed in the decision notice.

(Region 1 - Decision Notices)

Rattlesnake Creek Dam Removal Project--Decision Notice


In November 2019, FWP issued a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Rattlesnake Creek Dam Removal Project. The EA described the process that FWP, the City of Missoula, and Trout Unlimited (project partners) followed in developing the proposed action (Alternative 3) presented in the Draft EA. Alternative 3 is an active restoration option that would include: full dam infrastructure removal, reconstruction of the Rattlesnake Creek and floodplain to tie in 200-feet downstream of the dam, raising the channel profile to improve floodplain connection, construction of off‐channel habitat features, and revegetation of the constructed streambanks, floodplain and disturbed areas. FWP has issued the decision notice in which it reviews public comments and explains its rationale for choosing the proposed action as described and explained in the Draft EA. Upon completion of the public involvement process, FWP accepts the draft EA as final. The decision document includes all comments received during the public comment period.

(Region 2 - Decision Notices)

Warm Springs WMA Maintenance and Equipment Building--Decision Notice


FWP has issued the Decision Notice (DN) for its proposal to construct a 40’ x 60’ maintenance and equipment building at its Warm Springs Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The structure would serve as the new work and storage area for the WMA maintenance crews that operate out of the WMA, located at Warm Springs in Deer Lodge County. FWP released a draft environmental assessment (EA) describing and analyzing this proposal, along with opportunity for public review and comment on the project, earlier this year. In the DN, FWP selects the proposed action (Alternative B) and will construct the building at Warm Springs WMA as proposed. The DN also includes comment received during the public review period, and FWP accepts the draft EA as final.

(Region 2 - Decision Notices)

Sleeping Buffalo WMA Area 8 Cattail Management Decision Notice


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) distributed a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) detailing proposed management actions to manage cattails throughout the wetlands on the Sleeping Buffalo Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Area 8 on May 8, 2018. The purpose of this proposed management is to help reduce cattail coverage, which in certain areas has become a dense monoculture, and improve habitat conditions for a wide suite of species. After addressing public and agency comments the EA was updated and a decision to approve the proposed actions was signed.

(Region 6 - Decision Notices)

Environmental Assessment Decision Notice


Reconnect Hardy Creek with the Missouri River by reconstructing a stream channel through a gravel pit, redefining the channel downstream of the gravel pit, and removing or modifying several culverts in lower Hardy Creek. Restoration of the channel will allow Hardy Creek to function as a spawning and rearing tributary for trout in the Missouri River.

(Region 4 - Decision Notices)

Coal Creek Conservation Easement Decision Notice


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposal to purchase two separate and distinct but overlapping perpetual Conservation Easements (CEs) totaling 10,072.22 deeded acres in Custer and Prairie Counties, Montana. The two Conservation Easements would function as a single, cohesive unit known as the Coal Creek Conservation Easement. The Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) requires FWP to assess impacts to the human and natural environment. 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 purchasing the two separate and distinct overlapping perpetual conservation easements. We find there to be no significant impacts on the human and physical environments associated with this project. Therefore, we conclude that the EA is the appropriate level of analysis, and that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. After review of this proposal, it is our decision to accept the draft EA as supplemented by this Decision Notice as final, and to recommend proceeding with the proposed Coal Creek Conservation Easement, contingent on approval by the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

(Region 7 - Decision Notices)

Woods Bay and Horseshoe Lake Fishing Access Site Forest Management Projects Decision Notice


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is proposing to conduct forest management activities at two Fishing Access Sites (FASs) in Region One. FWP proposes to conduct approximately 20 acres of forest management treatments to improve forest conditions at Woods Bay and Horseshoe Lake FASs in the Bigfork and Ferndale areas in Lake County. The treatments would involve the removal of primarily conifer trees (both of merchantable and nonmerchantable value) for the purpose of mitigating hazard trees in developed areas, reducing hazardous fuels in the wildland urban interface (WUI), and increasing resiliency to insects and diseases. Tree removal would be accomplished through a combination of mechanized methods. The treatments would occur in the fall and winter seasons to minimize the impacts to public recreation and minimize ground disturbance. Any revenue generated by the sale of forest products from the project would go to offset the cost of project’s design and administration.

(Region 1 - Decision Notices)

Blackfoot River FASs Forest Management Project--Decision Notice


FWP has issued a decision notice (DN) for its proposal to conduct forest management treatments on approximately 96 acres of forested land in 4 FWP Fishing Access Sites (FASs) along the Blackfoot River northeasterly of Bonner. The FASs are K. Ross Toole, Johnsrud Park, and Corrick’s River Bend in Missoula County, and River Junction in Powell County. FWP completed the public review of this proposal and its draft environmental assessment (EA), and FWP accepts the draft EA as final in the DN. FWP will request approval for this proposed project from the Fish & Wildlife Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting on October 17, 2019 in Helena.

(Region 2 - Decision Notices)


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