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Entries in Montana FWP (61)


Poll claims strong support for bison re-introduction

Dennis Bragg photo(BOZEMAN)- A Bozeman-based conservation group says a new survey shows “overwhelming” public support for bringing wild bison back to Montana and letting them roam across public lands.

The National Wildlife Federal and the Wildlife Conservation Society commissioned the survey of Montanans.

The groups say 68% of those surveyed support restoration of wild bison on federal or state land, with 26% opposed. A similar percentage said they thought the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Western Montana is the best place in the state to start a wild herd. The groups say that’s close to a similar survey that was taken in February 2011.

“The public support for restoring this American icon is exceptionally strong,” said the National Wildlife Federation’s Kit Fischer in Missoula. “The decimation of bison was a wrong that people would like to repair, and doing so would be the crowning achievement in Montana’s century-long commitment to wildlife conservation.”

Adds the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Keith Aune, “The primary reason people visit Montana is our incredible wildlife resource. Restoring bison is not only important conservation, it’s good for our economy.”

The survey also found 68% of those that were asked support giving bison to Native American tribes for relocation to tribal lands.

Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks held meetings about the bison relocation around the state this summer, with people submitting almost 23,000 comments. The agency is expected to be analyzing that input this winter and then deciding how to proceed.  


Another grizzly moved to the Flathead

(HUNGRY HORSE)- Biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have moved another problem grizzly into the Flathead backcountry, with hopes of keep him out of trouble.

The Daily Interlake reports the male grizzly had recently killed a couple of lambs from a private sheep herd in the Flescher Pass area outside of Lincoln in Lewis and Clark County. FWP trapped the bear and released it east of Hungry Horse in the Baptiste Creek drainage with hopes it will revert back to eating natural food sources. 

It was the first time this particular bear had killed livestock. 



State begins to analyze "year around" plan for bison outside YNP

(HELENA)- A pair of Montana agencies are ready to ask the public about what issues should be reviewed as the state analyzes the idea of allowing bison to grave year around outside Yellowstone National Park.

The question of allowing the bison to range outside the park has been a contentious one for several years, especially with ranchers who worry about the animals carrying disease and impacting surrounding rangelands.

Now, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Department of Livestock say they’re ready to start a “scoping” process that may eventually lead to a formal plan for managing the bison outside the park.

Today the two agencies announced they’ve scheduled a pair of meetings in mid-August to take public comments. Under the scoping process, the agencies will be collecting input to help narrow down issues and concerns that should be addressed in a formal environmental assessment. That assessment would be have to be complete, and open for additional public comment before any decisions are made on the grazing plan.

The two evening meetings are scheduled for August 20th in West Yellowstone and August 21st in Gardiner.

FWP also held recent meetings across the state about the idea of allowing bison to wander across their historic range along with the other wildlife across Montana. But that work remains in the very early stages. 


Montana approves wolf trapping, changes in hunting

USFWS photo by J. & K. Hollingsworth(HELENA)- Montana will follow Idaho’s lead in allowing trapping as a means of controlling wolf populations next year.

After more than a month of consideration and public meetings around the state, Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners approved next season’s wolf hunting season, along with the provision to allow trapping, at its monthly meeting in Helena Thursday.

The trapping part of the season would allow each trapper to catch as many as three wolves, although it still prohibits controversial snares that would catch wolves by the neck.

The state has been looking at expanded seasons and other changes so it can use the hunts as a better means of controlling the wolf population, after hunting by itself failed to meet quotas last winter.

Trapping opponents had attacked the proposal since it was first raised this spring. But groups like the Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife showed strong support for the new measures, saying the state needs more tools to control wolves since they were removed from the Endangered Species Act by Congress last year. 


Grizzly trapped and moved on Rocky Mt. Front

(AUGUSTA)- Agents with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have trapped and relocated a bear that killed a calf near Augusta, moving the bear a few dozen miles away.

KRTV reports the adult female grizzly was trapped on a map southwest of Augusta and was in very poor condition. Biologists believe she'd had a litter recently, but was no on her own. They aren't sure why she killed the calf. 

Because it's the first time the bear had caused problems, FWP decided to just move her about 45-miles away to the Blackfeet Wildlife management area. 

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