MTPR

Bison Range Seeks Input On Comprehensive Conservation Plans

May 7, 2018

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting a series of public meetings this week to hear input on five alternative plans for future management of the National Bison Range and nearby wildlife refuges.

Alternatives for two Comprehensive Conservation Plans range from continuing management as it is now,  to emphasizing visitor experience, to managing for key species, to managing for ecological sustainability, and working with tribal and local partners to increase connectivity between the refuges.

A previous plan to transfer management of the Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes was scrapped last year.

Public comment on the alternatives will be accepted until May 25. The Service will review the comments ahead of selecting an alternative and preparing a draft plan and National Environmental Policy Act analysis.

The Service will host open-house style meetings on Wednesday, May 9 in Kalispell and Thursday, May 10 in Charlo starting at 5 p.m. Two all-day open houses are scheduled at the Lost Trail Refuge Headquarters in Marion on Tuesday, May 8, and the National Bison Range Headquarters in Charlo on Friday May, 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brief presentations will be provided at 6:00 p.m., but attendees are invited to arrive anytime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to meet with Service personnel, learn more about the CCP process, and provide input.

Date: May 9, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Office
Address: 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell, MT 59901
Venue Phone: (406) 752-5501

Date: May 10, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Leon Hall
Address: 984 Leon Road, Charlo, MT  59824 (NE corner of Leon Road and Kerns Road)
Venue Phone: (406) 644-2145

In addition to the evening open house meetings, the Service will also be hosting all-day open house events at the National Bison Range and Lost Trail refuge headquarters. The public is invited to stop by the refuges at any time during the following days to meet with Service personnel, learn more about the CCP process, and provide input.

Date: May 8, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Lost Trail Refuge Headquarters
Address: 6295 Pleasant Valley Rd., Marion, Montana 59925
Venue Phone: (406) 858-2216

Date: May 11, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: National Bison Range Headquarters
Address: 58355 Bison Range Rd., Charlo, MT 59824
Venue Phone:  (406) 644-2211

If unable to attend any of these meetings, you may provide your comments in writing via postal service or email at one of the addresses listed below.

Planning team leader – National Bison Range
Vanessa Fields
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Scientific Resources
922 Bootleger Trail
Great Falls, Montana 59404
vanessa_fields@fws.gov
406-727-7400 x 219 telephone
406-727-7432

Planning team leader – Lost Trail, Ninepipe, and Pablo National Wildlife Refuges, and Northwest Montana Wetland Management Districts
Bernardo Garza
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Branch of Planning and Policy
134 Union Boulevard, Suite 300
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
bernardo_garza@fws.gov
303-236-4377 telephone
303-236-4792 fax

National Bison Range CCP email
scoping_NBR@fws.gov

Lost Trail, Ninepipe, and Pablo NWRs – NW Montana WMDs CCP email
scoping_pablo_ninepipe@fws.gov

Refuge email
bisonrange@fws.gov

Refuge Complex headquarters address
58355 Bison Range Road
Moiese, MT 59824
406 / 644 2211