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West Swan Conservation Project - Amended Decision Notice

Wed Nov 03 00:00:00 MDT 2010

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has completed the final 2-week public comment period for the proposed West Swan Conservation Project and released the amended decision notice. The attached amended decision notice includes FWP's response to all public comments received during the comment periods as well as the final recommendation to the FWP Commission for a proposed action. The proposed action is for FWP to pursue the conservation easement alternative on approximately 9,350 acres using funding from both the Bonneville Power Administration fish mitigation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition programs. This item is on the FWP Commission agenda for final decision during a conference call scheduled at 9:00 a.m., November 9, 2010. The cover sheet for the upcoming FWP Commission conference call is posted on FWP’s Commission information web location: http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/insideFwp/commission/default.html. If you wish to participate or listen to the conference call, please come to one of the regional FWP offices or the Helena headquarters Commission room. The subsequent State Land Board meeting pertaining to the West Swan is scheduled for November 15, 2010. Information about this meeting should be available by going to http://dnrc.mt.gov/About_Us/meetings.asp#lb.

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W Swan Valley Conservation Project Decision Notice

Thu Sep 30 00:00:00 MDT 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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