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Public Comment Being Accepted On Proposals For June 20 FWP Commission Meeting

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is accepting public comment on agenda items for its June 20 meeting. The meeting will be held through Zoom only.

To make a comment during the meeting, persons must register by noon on June 19 on Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ website. Written comments can also be submitted through May 27 on the FWP website or sent to 1420 E. 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59601, Attn: Erik Wickman.

The following proposals are up for public comment: Resident SuperTag Draft Rules: At its April 17 meeting, the commission authorized FWP to draft administrative rules related to the Resident SuperTag established by House Bill 456 that provides each Montana resident purchasing a General Deer or General Elk License one free lottery opportunity for a Shiras moose, mountain sheep or a mountain goat license, which is determined by the commission. The draft rules would establish eligibility, lottery structure, use of the license and rotation between the three species.

Mountain Lion Quotas:

FWP is recommending no changes to the mountain lion season adopted in June 2023 as amended in December 2023, except for the male and female quotas developed from the West-central LEPOC feedback. Winter season will continue to allow the use of hounds, and harvest will be allocated, in accordance with commission direction, between Limited Lion Licenses that will be awarded through the lottery draw and Unlimited Lion Licenses that are governed by sex-specific quotas.

Beartooth Grazing Lease:

FWP is proposing to renew a six-year grazing lease on a portion of the 36,000-acre Beartooth Wildlife Management Area.

Tri-state Grizzly Bear Memorandum of Agreement: FWP is seeking commission approval of a Tri-State Memorandum Of Agreement among the Idaho, Wyoming and Montana commissions and fish and wildlife agencies regarding management of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Flathead Lake Wildlife Habitat Protection Area Rules: FWP proposes the installation of composting toilets and establish designated campsites on Bird and Cedar islands to mitigate negative habitat impacts, reduce the potential for social conflicts, and reduce the overall impacts to existing vegetation. Camping fees would be charged to offset the cost of operations.

Conservation Leases:

FWP seeks approval from the commission to enroll up to 500,000 acres in Prairie Habitat Conservation Leases as funding and interest allow. The lease agreements would be funded from a combination of Habitat Montana, Pittman Robertson, Migratory Bird Wetland Program and other state, federal or private sources as available.

Isaac Homestead Addition: FWP proposes an approximate 414-acre addition to the Isaac Homestead Wildlife Management Area by fee title acquisition.

Weapon Restriction on Bjornberg Bridge Fishing Access Site: FWP recommends the commission adopt as final the recommendation to restrict rifle hunting at Bjornberg Bridge FAS. This means that rifle hunting would be prohibited. Shotgun, muzzleloader, traditional handgun, crossbow and archery only would be allowed.

Big Game Policy Repeal:

FWP recommends the commission repeal ARM 12.9.101, which established the Big Game Management Policy. This rule became effective on Dec. 31, 1972. In the intervening years, this rule has become obsolete due to FWP’s adoption of species-specific plans.

For more information on these proposals, including supporting documentation and any collected public comment Fish and Wildlife Commission page on the FWP website at https://fwp. mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission.

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