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Big Lake WMA EA Decision Notice

05/02/2019

FWP has issued a Decision Notice for its proposal to modify and renew an agricultural lease on a portion of the Big Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The purpose of the proposed lease would be to formalize a reciprocal agreement with a local rancher to mow the grass on an access road and parking areas to reduce fire fuels in exchange of receipt of cut hay and grass for use on his ranch. The rotational hay cutting of select areas within the WMA would serve to maintain and enhance waterfowl nesting and upland bird habitat. After review of this proposal, it is the decision of FWP to accept the draft environmental assessment (EA) as final, and to recommend proceeding with the proposed Big Lake WMA agricultural lease agreement.

(Region 5 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Securing Public Hunting Access on the Graveley Ranch Conservation Easements—Draft EA

04/08/2019

FWP proposes to accept assignment (delegation) of the “right of public hunting access” components of two conservation easements (CEs) to be held by Five Valleys Land Trust (FVLT) on the 5,167-acre Graveley Ranch property and the 3,110-acre Warm Springs Creek property in Powell County north of Garrison. The Graveleys have agreed to grant a CE to FVLT on their current property that would include perpetual public hunting access, and then grant another CE on the adjacent Warm Springs Creek property that would be purchased by the Graveley family with funds from the sale of the Gravely CE. The CEs would permanently protect wildlife habitat and conservation values on a total of 8,277 acres by preventing subdivision, while keeping the land in private ownership and management. FVLT would then assign to FWP the CE rights portion that provides for public hunting access on the combined acreage. Funding for the CEs would come from the Montana Department of Justice Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP), The Conservation Fund and FVLT. No FWP funds would be involved in acquiring the proposed CEs; therefore, the proposed action in the draft environmental assessment (EA) is for FWP to accept assignment of the right of public hunting access in perpetuity, as set forth in the CEs to be held by FVLT. FWP will hold a public hearing in Drummond on April 23, 2019 (Tuesday) at 6:30 p.m. at the Drummond Community Center (54 East Broad Street) to discuss the proposed public hunting access for the conservation easements, answer questions and take public comment.

(Region 2 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Dailey Lake FAS Proposed Perpetual Easement Decision Notice

04/08/2019

An Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed for the proposed purchase of a perpetual easement from the MT Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for approximately 27 acres on Montana School Trust Land on Dailey Lake in order to establish permanent access to the Dailey Lake Fishing Access Site (FAS). It was released for review on February 27, 2019 and a decision was made based on the EA, public comment, and FWP evaluation.

(Region 3 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Robb-Ledford Wildlife Management Area Grazing Lease Renewal Draft Environmental Assessment Decision Notice

04/04/2019

In compliance with MEPA, an EA was completed for maintaining the existing 3-pasture rest-rotation cooperative grazing system on the Robb-Ledford Wildlife Management Area (RLWMA) by FWP and released for review on February 21, 2019. The EA was mailed to the standard FWP Region 3 distribution list and posted on the FWP webpage: http://fwp.mt.gov//publicnotices/. Public comments were received until 5:00 pm on March 22, 2019. No public comment was received.

(Region 3 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

DECISION NOTICE FOR THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: EAR MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA GRAZING LEASE AGREEMENT RENEWALS GOLLEHON AND SALMOND RANCHES

03/29/2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Region 4 proposes to maintain a rest-rotation grazing system for cattle on Ear Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Since 1991, Ear Mountain WMA has been divided into two pastures, North – 960 acres and South – 2,120 acres (Figure 1), with two different lessees, which have been permitted to graze cattle in accordance with grazing lease stipulations. The proposed action would continue similar previous grazing lease terms and conditions (three-year rest/rotation cycle) for a six-year period. The proposed action would also continue to work under the primary objective of utilizing limited grazing as a management tool to enhance the quality of native forage for wildlife that inhabit the WMA.

(Region 4 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Mt. Haggin WMA Addition Fee Title Acquisition

03/28/2019

The attached draft Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared to purchase in fee title a 160-acre parcel of private land adjacent to Mt. Haggin WMA. It is located 10 miles south of Anaconda along MT Highway 569 (“Mill Creek Highway”). The property is owned by the Edna Schmeller Living Trust. The value of the property has been appraised at $464,000. FWP would pay the appraised value using Habitat Montana funds and possibly other partner funds, including a contribution from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The parcel would be managed as part of Mt. Haggin WMA. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. April 27, 2019.

(Region 3 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Dailey Lake Addition EA

02/27/2019

The attached Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared to purchase a perpetual easement from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for approximately 27 acres of Montana School Trust Land on Dailey Lake in order to establish permanent access to Dailey Lake Fishing Access Site (FAS). Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. March 29, 2019.

(Region 3 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Fairweather FAS Wildlife Enhancement

02/20/2019

The attached Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared to renew an existing wildlife agricultural lease at Fairweather Fishing Access Site for 10 years. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. March 22, 2019.

(Region 3 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Robb-Ledford Grazing Lease EA

02/20/2019

The enclosed draft Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared regarding a potential nine-year grazing lease proposal on the Robb-Ledford Wildlife Management Area (RLWMA). The 28,100-acre RLWMA is in southwest Montana along the western slopes of the Snowcrest Mountains, occupying land in both Madison and Beaverhead Counties. The proposed grazing lease would maintain existing livestock grazing management utilizing principles of rest-rotation grazing to maintain or enhance wildlife habitat and working relationships between Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), livestock producers, and sportsmen. The proposed lease would incorporate 4,300 acres of Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and Bureau of Land Management land leased by the Ledford Creek Grazing Association (proposed lessee). Additionally, proposed grazing management would continue be implemented in coordination with grazing allotments on adjacent United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management allotments. The proposed project encompasses a total of 32,444 acres. Proposed grazing management is designed to: 1) partially meet the management objectives of the RLWMA management plan; 2) maintain or enhance forage quality and quantity for a variety of wildlife species, particularly elk, mule deer, and pronghorn; and 3) maintain or enhance local working partnerships with livestock producers, which includes wildlife tolerance and sportsmen access across private lands. Livestock grazing has been utilized as a habitat management tool on the RLWMA in a similar fashion since 1992. Additional copies of the draft EA are available on FWP’s website at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/. A 30-day public review and comment period will be available during February 20–March 22, 2019. A public hearing/meeting is not scheduled.

(Region 3 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

Thompson-Fisher Conservation Easement Amendment Draft Environmental Assessment

02/13/2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) seeks public comment on a proposal to amend the Thompson-Fisher Conservation Easement (EA) to remove 1.63 acres of developed land and replace it with 5 acres of undeveloped, upland and riparian habitat along the Little Thompson River. This land exchange and accompanying CE amendment would resolve an encroachment issue on the CE land. The developed land on the CE involves seven different parcels of State School Trust Land managed by DNRC. Each parcel is adjacent to the conservation easement and lies within the Thompson River valley. The DNRC parcels are leased for cabin sites and they include various structures or other improvements that encroach onto the CE. Weyerhaeuser has agreed to remove the 1.63 acres of developed land from the easement and add 5 acres of undeveloped land which is adjacent to existing CE land, for a net gain to the easement property of 3.37 acres. The 5-acre parcel to be added to the CE is currently managed by Weyerhaeuser as forestland and this proposal will ensure that it will be managed in the same manner in the future. No immediate changes in land use would occur because of this amendment either on the land removed from or added to the CE. No money would be exchanged to complete the proposed amendment. FWP asks that comments on this environmental assessment be submitted to either of the following addresses by 5:00 pm on March 15, 2019

(Region 1 - Acquisitions, Trades & Leases)

 

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18 public notices are currently available for public comment.