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W Swan Valley Conservation Project Decision Notice

Decision Notices - 09/30/2010

On August 6, 2010, FWP released a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed West Swan land conservation project in Lake County. The draft EA addressed the environmental impacts for 3 action alternatives and the no-action alternative. Proposed action alternatives for FWP use of available BPA fish mitigation and other available federal funds were to purchase a conservation easement or fee-title interest (or a combination of both of these actions) on approximately 9,500 acres of former Plum Creek Timber Co. lands in the Swan Valley. Comments received and our responses to comments regarding this proposal are summarized in the decision notice. No modifications were made in the draft EA as a result of the public review. Therefore, the draft EA will be considered the final EA. The decision recommends that FWP and Commission approve a course that allows the state to implement any one of the three possible action alternatives to ensure these lands are conserved for future generations. The final decision of which alternative is available to FWP is dependent on the willingness of the landowner or seller (The Nature Conservancy in this instance), available funding, and final costs of the alternatives, which are not available at this time. The West Swan Conservation Project is on the Commission October 7 agenda for final decision. There will be opportunities for the public to comment during this and subsequent FWP Commission meetings as well as at scheduled State Land Board meetings regarding this project (October 18 or November 15). The next FWP Commission agenda is posted at http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/insideFwp/commission/meetings/agenda.html?meetingId=15559867For future State Land Board meetings and agendas see: (http://dnrc.mt.gov/About_Us/meetings.asp#lb). Contact person: Joel Tohtz, FWP Fisheries Mitigation Coordinator (406-751-4570 or e-mail to jtohtz@mt.gov.

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