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LibbyMt.com > News > July 2006 > Montana Grizzly Bear Management Plan & EIS

Montana Grizzly Bear Management Plan & EIS
Public meeting in Libby Sept. 19
by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
July 11, 2006

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has released a management plan and draft programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) for grizzly bears in 17 counties located in western Montana.

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.”

FWP analyzed a variety of alternatives for each ecosystem, focusing on the kinds of management activities FWP conducts to ensure human safety, prevent conflicts with livestock, and mitigate property damage. In addition, FWP looked at each recovery zone individually and evaluating current programs in those areas. Alternatives are outlined for each ecosystem.

The public will have 90 days to comment on the draft EIS beginning July 3, 2006, and ending October 3, 2006. The public will have an opportunity to comment by mail, email, or at one of 11 public hearings scheduled during the month of September across western Montana. The public meeting schedule is as follows:

September 11: Choteau—Stage Stop Inn, 1005 Main Avenue North
September 12: Great Falls—FWP Headquarters, 4600 Giant Springs Road
September 13: Lincoln—Lambkins Restaurant
September 14: Helena—FWP Commission Room, 1420 East 6th Avenue
September 18: Thompson Falls—Sanders County Courthouse, Third Floor
September 19: Libby—Venture Inn, 433 Highway 2 West
September 20: Eureka—Lincoln Electric Meeting Room
September 21: Kalispell—FWP Headquarters, 490 N. Meridian Road
September 25: Hamilton—Daly-Lead Memorial Chapel, 1010 W. Main
September 26: Missoula—FWP Headquarters, 3201 Spurgin Road
September 27: Seeley Lake—Senior Citizens’ Center

All meetings will be held from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Written comments may be mailed to:
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Attn: A. Dood
1400 South 19th Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59718

Comments may be emailed to: FWPGrizzlyMgPlan@mt.gov

The draft EIS is available for review in Bozeman at FWP’s Region 3 Headquarters (1400 South 19th 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.

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