Hearings on Montana's grizzly plan start soon (actually Sept. 11)

Here is the information from Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks on the public meetings

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will hold several public meetings around west-central Montana this month to discuss a draft management plan and programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) for grizzly bears in 17 counties located in western Montana.

A meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13 in Lincoln at Lambkins Restaurant, and a Sept. 25 meeting is planned for Hamilton at the Daly-Lead Memorial Chapel, 1010 W. Main. The Missoula meeting will be held Sept. 26 at the Missoula FWP office, 3201 Spurgin Road, and the Seeley Lake meeting is planned for Sept. 27 at the Senior Citizens’ Center. All meetings will be held from 7:00-9 p.m.

The draft Grizzly Bear Management Plan for Western Montana was developed to address the future of grizzly bear management in western Montana outside of the Greater Yellowstone Area. The plan focuses on grizzly bear populations or potential populations in the Northern Continental Divide, Cabinet-Yaak, and Bitterroot Ecosystems, as well as surrounding areas.

In response to an increase in the number and distribution of bears in western Montana, FWP developed the programmatic EIS to evaluate current management programs and ensure the future success of grizzly bear conservation.

“Our goal is to find ways to fit grizzly bears in across a broader landscape as a part of Montana’s wildlife heritage and respond to the increasing number and distribution of bears,” said A. Dood, FWP Endangered Species Coordinator. “After completing the grizzly bear plan for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, we began the process of reviewing our programs for the rest of western Montana.”

The draft EIS is available for review in Bozeman at FWP’s Region 3 Headquarters (1400 South 19 th Avenue), and in Helena at the FWP Headquarters, the Montana State Library, and the Environmental Quality Council. It is also available on FWP’s website at: http://fwp.mt.gov/publicnotices/notice_1137.aspx or by calling the FWP regional headquarters in Bozeman at 406-994-4042. Please email comments by Oct. 3, 2006 to FWPGrizzlyMgtPlan@mt.gov, or mail to A. Dood, FWP, 1400 South 19 th Avenue, Bozeman 59718.

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Sonja Lee at the Great Falls Tribune has a Sept. 11 story on the upcoming hearings and the issue. Read her story.
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Sept 13. Not many people showed up at the meeting in Choteau (show toe) or Great Falls. Local response underwhelming on grizzly management plan. By Eric Newhouse. Great Falls Tribune.







Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan