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Final Environmental Assessment for the Potential Reintroduction of Bighorn Sheep into Indian or Wolf Creek, Madison Mountain Range, Southwest Montana

Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 09/17/2013

The attached Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared for the proposed release of bighorn sheep at either of two identified locations in the Madison mountain range (Indian Creek or Wolf Creek). This project proposes to trap and transplant sheep from occupied sites within the mountain range, or from other source herds, and release them winter of 2013-2014 or thereafter at either of these two sites. The EA provides for subsequent transplants if necessary. Both release locations were once occupied bighorn habitat in the years before the all-age die-offs the herd experienced during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The benefit and purpose is to improve bighorn population size throughout the Madison mountain range by allowing appropriate habitats to be used. It will also help meet statewide bighorn goals, as per the 2010 Bighorn Conservation Strategy, in creating at least 1 new herd unit. This site should host 100-150 bighorn in the future, and will provide for the benefit and enjoyment of wildlife-watchers, photographers, and hunters. It should also improve the herd genetic potential. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. October 16, 2013. COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 8 AT 5:00 p.m.

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Contact Information

Julie Cunningham Bozeman Area Biologist 1400 S. 19th Ave Bozeman MT 59718 Or e-mail to juliecunningham@mt.gov