MTPR

Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission

Flathead Lake near Polson, MT.
P.J. Johnson (CC-BY-ND-2)

Boaters in the Flathead Basin may see some significant changes next season. A new set of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive mussels next year are now being drafted.

The proposed regulations would require all boats to be inspected before they launch, set up a sticker for boats that only launch in Flathead and Swan Lakes, and establish annual fees to fund the program.

The "quiet waters" initiative would have restricted the use of motorized boats on some Montana waterways.
(PD)

The group that proposed the quiet waters initiative says they plan to try again.

The group Backcountry Hunters and Anglers proposed the rule in May 2016 to reduce conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users. But on Friday The Montana Fish and Wildlife commission voted down their proposal that would have restricted the use of motorized boats on some Montana waterways.

The "quiet waters" initiative recommends restrictions on motorized watercraft on several major water systems in Montana.
(PD)

On Friday, Montana's Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to vote on the so-called “quiet waters” initiative proposed last year.

The comment period for the "quiet waters" initiative ends Feb. 12, 2017.
(PD)

The last of several public hearings on proposed changes to the way Montanans use motors on some streams and rivers happen tonight in Helena and Great Falls. There have been four public comment meetings on the "quiet waters" initiative so far.

The grizzly bear is Montana’s state mammal, famous for its size, strength and intelligence. Grizzlies have been hunted for centuries by first peoples to obtain mythic power and by farmers and ranchers to protect livestock. In large swaths of the U.S., market hunters exterminated the great bear for its fur. With the grizzly off the endangered species list, should Montana allow trophy hunting? Dan Vermillion, chair of Montana's Fish & Wildlife Commission, joins us to discus on this episode of "Home Ground Radio."

A major study released Wednesday now says elk – not bison - are the primary source of new brucellosis infections in Greater Yellowstone Area cattle.
Flickr User Ian Sane CC-BY-2.0

Montana Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gary Wolfe says wildlife should not be managed like livestock. That’s why he joined the rest of the commission this week in rejecting a proposal to haze diseased elk away from healthy herds.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission approved hunting guidelines for grizzly bears Wednesday in Helena.

Managers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all said it's unlikely any grizzly hunting will be allowed in 2017.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday unanimously approved draft grizzly bear hunting regulations. Dan Vermillion, chair of the Commission, says it’s a very preliminary step.

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

The controversy over the federal government’s proposal to remove grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is pushing thousands to speak out.

Montana Proposes To Triple Wolf Harvest Near Yellowstone

May 10, 2016
Wolf on the northern range of Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials want to triple the number of gray wolves hunters and trappers can kill in an area bordering Yellowstone National Park, citing complaints the predators are eating too many elk wanted by hunters and outfitters.

FWP Considers Other Ways To Recover Elk Herd Near Gardiner

Dec 11, 2015
Bull elk
(PD)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — State wildlife commissioners have agreed to consider ideas other than hunting restrictions to try to recover a dwindling elk herd near Gardiner.

Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right
PD

A prominent Montana fishing guide says climate change is already impacting his business, and that statewide, tens of millions of fishing tourism dollars are at stake.

Conservation groups seek extension of wolf monitoring program
(PD)

Trappers in Montana won’t be able to get certified online to trap wolves, at least for now. The state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department has proposed ending the in-person classes it now requires wolf trappers to pass, and going to online classes to save money.

The new counting model uses hunter sightings to help map areas occupied by wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (CC-BY-2)

Montana officials are seeking permission to offer a wolf trapping course online after seeing class participation decline over the last two years. The safety and education course is a requirement for anybody who wants to trap a wolf in the state. Once they pass, certification is good for life.

Montana Proposes Elk Hazing To Check Brucellosis Spread
PD

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on proposed guidelines to establish additional elk hunting seasons, called "shoulder seasons". Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Quentin Kujala says they’d be used as a tool to reduce elk populations.

Mountain Lion in the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC-BY-2.0)

Anyone who’s ever hunted mountain lions will tell you that finding just one cougar in the wild is hard. Imagine trying to count all the mountain lions in Montana….that’s a lot harder.

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

It turns out 145 genetically pure bison captured from Yellowstone National Park will stay in Montana.

Several out-of-state entities wanted those animals.

The Obama administration offered five possible plans Thursday for limiting mining on federal land in the West to protect the vulnerable greater sage grouse.
NRCS - Montana

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has barred sage-grouse hunting in all or part of 32 counties and shortened the hunting season from two months to one.

An earlier plan that would have closed the entire state to hunting the game birds due to their low numbers.

Instead, all or part of 13 counties in central Montana and six counties in the southwestern part of the state will be open to hunting from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30.

Hunters refute FWP mountain lion study

Apr 13, 2014
Bas Lammers/flickr

Montana Wildlife officials are hearing complaints about a new mountain lion study showing populations much higher than previously expected in the Bitterroot.

Opponents of the study accuse the state of using a faulty method to come to the higher population. They say the lion numbers are much lower, and hunting quotas should be lowered. The most vocal supporters of bringing down these quotas are the lion hunters themselves.