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.
Melissa Foster FWP Biologist P.O. Box 342 Wibaux, MT 59353 firstname.lastname@example.org