During the 2023 Legislative Session, MACD worked on SB 280, focused on licenses for bird…
|(Reposted from FWP)|
Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting October 19, comment deadline Sept. 19
HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on several proposals slated to go to the Fish and Wildlife Commission in October. Comment is open through Sept. 19.After public comment, commissioners can offer amendments to the proposals as they see fit. The proposals and supporting documents, commissioner amendments and collected public comment are available on the commission webpage.The commission will make a final decision on these proposals at its meeting on Oct. 19.
2024 Fishing Regulations
FWP is asking the commission to approve 42 fishing regulation changes along with the rest of the regulations as written in the current 2023 regulation book for the 2024 Montana Fishing Regulations.
2023–2025 Highland Mountains management removal of diseased bighorn sheep
FWP is asking the commission to approve the removal up to 45 bighorn sheep in the Highland Mountains, regardless of age or sex, identified as chronic carriers of Mycoplasma ovipneumonia (M.ovi) as part of a research investigation developed collaboratively with the Wild Sheep Foundation and the Montana Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. The removal of chronically M.ovi-positive bighorn sheep from struggling populations will be tested to determine if it increases lamb survival and population growth. Although the department is requesting authorization to remove a maximum of 45 bighorn sheep, the department is unlikely to remove the maximum number.
Contractual Public Elk Hunting Access Agreements (EHA) Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM)
FWP is asking the commission to instruct the department to file an administrative rule notice on behalf of the commission proposing updates to the rules governing Contractual Public Elk Hunting Access Agreements. As proposed, repetitive statutory language and informational language that is better suited to inclusion in a department policy would be removed in accordance with the Governor’s Red Tape Relief Project.
Block Management Program ARM
FWP is asking the commission to instruct the department instruct the department to file an administrative rule notice on behalf of the commission proposing updates to the rules governing the Block Management Program. The proposed changes remove outdated and unnecessary language and update the rules to reflect current practices and statutory requirements. As proposed, repetitive statutory language and informational language that is better suited to inclusion in a department policy would be removed in accordance with the Governor’s Red Tape Relief Project.
Lower Yellowstone River Wildcat Bend acquisition
FWP is asking the commission to approve the purchase of the Wildcat Bend property on the Lower Yellowstone River to support habitat conservation, public access, and the desire of eastern Montana residents and businesses.
Elk Island Wildlife Management Area land exchange
FWP is asking commission to approve the Elk Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) land exchange. This proposal would fix a mistake and help to maintain a long-standing positive relationship with the neighboring landowner, while improving the WMA for wildlife and recreation.
Work group’s recommendations for Half Moon Slough boating regulations
FWP is asking the commission to deny the petition for a no wake zone and seasonal boating closure for Half Moon Slough. Half Moon Slough currently does not have any boating regulations in place. At the Oct. 20, 2022, meeting, the commission voted to defer rulemaking while the department assembled a citizen working group to analyze the petition and make recommendations on potential regulations on Half Moon Slough. On Feb. 15, 2023, the department convened a 10-person working group to discuss the petition. The work group unanimously agreed on the recommendation that Half Moon Slough be designated as a no wake zone and that a seasonal boating closure be enacted from March 1 through April 15. The department has not documented any boating accidents or other data pointing to an existing recreational boating safety issue on Half Moon Slough. Nor has the department identified any natural resource damage occurring because of recreational boating on Half Moon Slough. Given the absence of documented boating safety concerns and no evidence suggesting natural resource damage, the agency recommends that the commission deny the petition.
Marshall Creek WMA log deck removal
FWP is asking to commission to approve the removal of dead trees on the Marshall Creek WMA that burned during the Colt Fire in July 2023, which would reduce the potential for the trees to be infested by bark beetles and/or illegally cut for firewood. The timber can be sold to a sawmill, which will offset the cost of loading and hauling the trees to the mill. To comment and for more information on these proposals, go online to fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission/october-2023-meeting.