MTPR

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

'Cash Bill' Would Fund Veterans’ Home And University Renovations

Apr 13, 2017
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The Senate gave final approval today to a bill that would fund capital projects, like university system renovations and a veterans’ home in Butte, with money from state special revenue funds, grants and donations. 

Bringing bison back to the Blackfeet Reservation and their historic range on land that now belongs to the U.S. Forest Service, like the Badger-Two Medicine and Chief Mountain, is a vision eight years in the making.
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Last fall, the Blackfeet Tribe announced plans to reintroduce free-roaming bison to federal land outside its reservation. On Wednesday, the tribe met with state and federal agencies for the third time this year to hash out what that would look like.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco (PD)

On Monday the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Michael Wright reported that more than 570 Yellowstone National Park bison have been killed so far this winter. The Park is trying to reduce the size of its bison herd from an estimated 5,500 animals to about 3,000.

The annual slaughter happens as part of compromise between the Park Service and State of Montana, which says bison numbers need to be controlled to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis to cattle. It's controversial, and there is an alternative.

Joining us now to talk about it is Amy Martin, who spent the last year reporting on bison for her podcast: Threshold.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is seeking comment on whether fishers deserve ESA protection.
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The Fish and Wildlife Service is revisiting whether fishers warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

On Friday the Service announced it is seeking comment on the status of the fisher - a member of the weasel family - in its distinct northern Rocky Mountain population for potential listing as a threatened or endangered species.

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

Flickr user, Harold (cc-by-2.0)

The so-called Quiet Waters Initiative — a slew of proposals that could redefine recreation on some Montana rivers and streams — rocked the boat at the first of several public hearings this week hosted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The agency is taking comment on nearly 30 proposed regulation changes that would limit horsepower, set seasonal restrictions and outright ban motorized watercraft along some rivers and stream segments that feed into the Clark Fork, Flathead, Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers.

Montana FWP Appeals Ethics Ruling Over Trapping Initiative

Jan 3, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's fish and wildlife agency is appealing a ruling that it violated the state's ethics laws by allowing equipment it owns to be used to advocate against a ballot initiative.

In November, Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl fined Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks $1,500 after finding the Montana Trappers Association used an FWP trailer and state-owned displays of furbearing animals to oppose the 2014 anti-trapping initiative. The measure never made it on the ballot, but was revived in 2016 and rejected by Montana voters.

Public Hearings Slated For 'Quiet Waters' Initiative
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An initiative to put new restrictions on motorized watercraft on some river segments in Montana gets public hearings across the state this week.

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers submitted the so-called "Quiet Waters Initiative" petition to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks last March.

Courtesy Montana FWP

After putting in over 12 years and serving three governors, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department director Jeff Hagener retired this week.

A grizzly bear visiting a wire hair snag station near Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)

The grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have spoken, and they are telling us that everything we’re doing to recover their population has worked. That was the message from state and federal bear experts at the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Winter Meeting today in Missoula.

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