Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is soliciting public comment on revisions to their wolf plan environmental impact statement (EIS) . . .
FWP is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) and conducting public scoping on a proposed action to revise the existing Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, which was developed in 2003.
The 2003 Wolf Plan and associated EIS were developed 20 years ago. Since then, new and improved research, management tools and methods have been developed and incorporated into Montana’s gray wolf management strategy; however, they are not described in the 2003 Wolf Plan. Gov. Greg Gianforte asked FWP to update the 2003 Wolf Plan with broad public engagement due to the interest in wolf management across the state . . .
On January 29, NFPA submitted a set of detailed, science-based comments to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks concerning their proposed statewide grizzly bear management plan. There’s a lot of work and research distilled into these six pages, folks! Read ’em here…
Sounds like someone killed a grizzly bear somewhere up the Moran Creek drainage off Hay creek Road . . .
Montana Game Wardens and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agents are seeking information on a grizzly bear that was shot and killed recently.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks received an initial report from a hunter on Nov. 12 that the dead bear was in the Hay/Moran Creek area in the North Fork of the Flathead Drainage.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for killing this grizzly bear. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the USFWS at 406-761-2286; or 1-800-TIPMONT. Callers may remain anonymous.
More press about removing grizzlies from the endangered species list in the Northern Rockies . . .
The head of Montana’s wildlife agency said Thursday federal officials will seek to lift federal protections from some threatened grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies in the next two years.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Jeff Hagener told lawmakers he expects the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose rules that could remove two populations of grizzlies from the Endangered Species list.
One rule could lift protections for bears in and around Yellowstone Park in 2015, Hagener said. The other rule ending protections would be for grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide region by 2016, he said.
Landowners can now kill wolves without a license under certain circumstances . . .
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new administrative rules for killing wolves that pose a threat to landowners’ safety on Thursday.
The rule change stemmed from a bill the Legislature passed in the 2013 session allowing landowners to kill wolves without first getting a license if they threaten human safety, livestock or dogs. But it also gave the agency a chance to clear up some confusing parts of the state administrative law book, according to FWP wildlife management section chief Quentin Kujala.
“It’s not the easiest thing to read,” Kujala said. “We took more than 1,300 public comments on this.”
The new rules also change the definition of a breeding pair of wolves – a crucial part of the federal oversight of sustainable wolf populations…
Montana FWP talks about this critical time of the year for deer and elk populations . . .
Ladies and gentlemen, we are entering crunch time.
That time of the year when spring and winter play a tug of war, and depending on how it goes, deer and elk could be the losers.
Members of the deer family that go into winter in good shape have the energy reserves and body fat to survive those December and February subzero spells. But a long winter that continues through March and April will start to tip over the smallest and weakest.
And if we humans are not careful, we’ll cause some of the bigger animals to tip over.
Already some of our large game species could use a break. January was nice, with a handful of 50 degree days. But February plunged us back into winter, which after all is the season we’re in.
State agencies are trying to figure out what’s going on with mule deer populations over recent decades . . .
Wildlife management agencies, hunters and wildlife organizations have done a lot of research, habitat work and plain old head scratching in recent years over what is causing a decline in the number of mule deer across parts of the West.
A recent report by Western wildlife agencies found mule deer declining in four states, including Wyoming, and one Canadian province. Montana’s population was reported as stable, although certain regional populations have seen some dramatic declines.
“Certainly numbers are still down,” said Quentin Kujala, Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife management section chief, but whether that constitutes a downward trend or simply a temporary pause he could not say.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wants comments on a “habitat enhancement” project for the south fork of Coal Creek. Here’s the write-up from the project web page:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), Region One, is seeking public comment for a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the South Fork of Coal Creek Habitat Enhancement Project. FWP proposes to implement a project to increase available spawning and rearing habitat for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout by adding large, woody debris into an impaired section of the South Fork of Coal Creek in Flathead County.
The draft is out for a 21-day public review through 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 28, 2013. Contact person: FWP Fisheries Biologist Amber Steed, (406) 751-4541 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Local chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association is launching this year’s “Wilderness Walks” program with a get-together and presentation at the Split Rock Cafe in Kalispell at 5:30 p.m. on May 31 . . .
On Friday, May 31, the Flathead/Kootenai Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association will present a Wilderness Walks Kickoff Party at the Split Rock Cafe in Kalispell.
The event will start with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists Tim Thier and Chris Hammond telling stories about native species in the Whitefish Range.
Thier and Hammond will give their presentation at 7 p.m. upstairs from the Split Rock Café in the KM Theater. The presentation will last about one hour.