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  • Bear activity picks up in Montana, bear aware habits can prevent conflict

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated May 8, 2024

    HAVRE – With the onset of spring weather, both species of Montana bears are active. Much of Montana has both black and grizzly bears, with grizzlies showing up further and further east each year. Recently, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks confirmed a grizzly bear sighting in the Bear Paw Mountains east of Big Sandy. "Though not common, grizzly bear sightings around central Montana have increased over the years," said FWP Region 6 Supervisor Drew Henry. "This emphasizes the n...

  • BLM adopts rule described as a 'generation-defining' shift for America's largest land manager

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday adopted a long-awaited rule that aims to put conservation initiatives "on equal footing" with oil and gas leasing, grazing and other commercial uses of federal land. The rule "combines our ongoing work with a vision for conservation to help us manage lands into the 21st century," BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said in a video announcing the rule. "It ensures that the BLM can carry out its multiple-use and sustained-yield mission now...

  • FWP accepting applications from landowners for Block Management Program

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is accepting applications from landowners who are interested in participating in the 2024 Block Management Program. Application deadline is June 1. Through the Block Management Program, landowners and FWP work together to help manage wildlife and public hunting activities on enrolled lands. Landowners and FWP enter into voluntary agreements that determine how hunting will be conducted on the landowner's property. Items such as per...

  • FWP reminder: Be bear aware when recreating outdoors

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    HELENA – As spring weather approaches, we're all anxious to head outdoors, and bears are leaving their winter dens. This time of year, bears are waking up from hibernation and are pretty hungry. So, it's best for you, and for the bears, not to leave out anything that will attract their appetite or their curiosity. If you're outside working or recreating, you need to be aware that bears are out there, too. Anytime bears are not in hibernation, which is typically between the b...

  • Pathways to clarity

    Updated Mar 21, 2024

    When four hunters used a specially constructed ladder to step from one corner of public land in southern Wyoming to another, the ripples from that decision were initially small but have since ignited an impassioned debate that could open - or unequivocally restrict - access to more than eight million acres of public land across the West. Here, in the final installment of our three-part series, we explore how judges, lawmakers and public land managers could clear up some of...

  • Application deadline for deer and elk permits is April 1

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Mar 20, 2024

    HELENA – Hunters have until April 1 to apply for deer and elk permits and nonresident combination licenses. Hunters can buy licenses and apply for permits on the FWP website; click on "Buy and Apply." Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offers several tools to help hunters navigate the application process. Click here to watch a video tutorial for Montana residents; click here to watch a video tutorial for nonresidents. To see a playlist of all FWP's hunting license video t...

  • Counties with the worst droughts in Montana

    Stacker|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    More than one-fifth of the continental U.S. is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Winter storms brought heavy (in some areas, record-setting) rainfall and flooding to California, offering the state an expected two-year reprieve from widespread droughts, that covered nearly 100% of the state from 2020-22. But in other parts of the country, especially dry conditions continue. New Mexico currently is the state with the...

  • Montana proponents for public access, landowners, await implications of Wyoming lawsuit

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    When four hunters used a specially constructed ladder to step from one corner of public land in southern Wyoming to another, the ripples from that decision were initially small but have since ignited an impassioned debate that could open - or unequivocally restrict - access to more than eight million acres of public land across the West. In a three-part series, Montana Free Press will explore "corner-crossing" and what it might mean for public access in Montana. This is the...

  • Nearly 900,000 acres of Montana in access limbo 

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    When four hunters used a specially constructed ladder to step from one corner of public land in southern Wyoming to another, the ripples from that decision were initially small but have since ignited an impassioned debate that could open - or unequivocally restrict - access to more than eight million acres of public land across the West. Here, in the second of our three-part series, we explore why Montana lacks a clear "test case" on the legality of corner-crossing. Nearly a...

  • Hiring event: Entry-level wildland firefighter positions

    Chiara Cipriano, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    HELENA, Mont. – March 4, 2024 - From March 4 through March 15, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest will be accepting applications for twelve entry-level permanent wildland firefighter and dispatcher positions. These positions allow for paid training and travel, overtime, hazard pay, and federal employee benefits, such as medical and retirement. Additionally, these positions enable employees to gain experience and knowledge to be promoted within a fire management c...

  • Join the Helena Youth Corps

    Chiara Cipriano, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    HELENA, Mont. – March 5, 2024 - The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest has partnered with the Montana Conservation Corps to offer five AmeriCorps positions that would serve together as part of the newly formed Helena Youth Corps. "We are excited about this new partnership and hope to better engage young adults in meaningful work experiences across the forest," said Recreation Program Manager Rory Glueckert. "One of the projects interested applicants may work on is p...

  • Helena-Lewis and Clark Resource Advisory Committee solicits new project proposals

    Chiara Cipriano, Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest|Updated Feb 26, 2024

    HELENA - The Helena–Lewis and Clark National Forest invites interested parties to submit project proposals for funding consideration by the Helena-Lewis and Clark Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC will consider proposals for projects that are on or provide substantial benefits to National Forest System lands within Broadwater, Teton, Lewis and Clark, Fergus, Judith Basin, Pondera, Meagher and Wheatland counties. The deadline to submit project proposals is April 15, 20...

  • New hunting, fishing and conservation license year begins March 1

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Feb 23, 2024

    HELENA – The new license year opens March 1, which means that is the day you can buy your 2024 hunting, fishing and conservation licenses and begin applying for permits and special licenses. The deadline to apply for deer and elk permits is April 1. Applications for most species – deer, elk, antelope, deer B licenses, elk B licenses, antelope B licenses, moose, sheep, goat, bison, bear, turkey – can be made beginning March 1. A new online feature this year is the option for applicants to reapply for the same offerings as last...

  • FWP reopens public comment period for draft grizzly bear and wolf management plans

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reopening the public comment period for the 2024 Grizzly Bear Management Plan and Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to ensure Montana counties, Tribes, and state and federal agencies have a chance for input. The new deadline is March 9. The extension will ensure that Montana statute requiring FWP to notify county commissioners of opportunities to comment on management plans for grizzly bears, wolves and other large c...

  • Survey finds growing tolerance among Montanans for wolves

    News Release, College of Forestry and Conversation|Updated Feb 12, 2024

    MISSOULA – Montanans have varying attitudes and beliefs about wolves and wolf management, and over time some of those feelings have shifted, according to a new survey conducted cooperatively by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the University of Montana. The survey was distributed three times – in 2012, 2017 and 2023 – tracking trends in how residents view wolves and wolf management. It provides insights to wildlife managers and officials tasked with making decisions on wo...

  • Montana files notice of intent to sue over wolverine listing

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of its intent to pursue legal action over the recent listing of wolverines as a threatened species. "In Montana, wolverines continue to do well and inhabit much, if not all, of their available habitat," said Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Chief of Conservation Policy Quentin Kujala. "We work closely with our neighboring states to ensure the continued conservation of these iconic speci...

  • Wolverines gain federal protections under Endangered Species Act

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Dec 13, 2023

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it's moving forward with federal protections for wolverines, a reclusive and wide-ranging carnivore. In a press release announcing the decision to add wolverines to the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act, USFWS Regional Director Hugh Morrisson said the decision will enhance wolverine viability in the contiguous United States. "Current and increasing impacts of climate change and associated...

  • FWP adopts new elk management plan and environmental assessment

    News release, Montana FWP|Updated Dec 13, 2023

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has adopted the 2023 Elk Management Plan and accompanying environmental assessment. The elk plan lays out how FWP will manage elk; the EA is an evaluation and summary of potential impacts on the physical environment and human population. The new plan is flexible and reflects current elk management direction and challenges, as well as being forward looking in anticipating management changes. "Development of the new elk plan was a long a...

  • Judge's order halts wolf trapping and snaring season in most of Montana

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Nov 29, 2023

    HELENA – Wolf trapping and snaring in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks administrative regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and in Hill, Blaine, and Phillips counties won't start until Jan. 1 and will run through Feb. 15, according to a federal court injunction issued Tuesday evening. In areas in eastern Montana outside FWP administrative regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and Hill, Blaine, and Phillips counties the order does not apply, and the wolf trapping and snaring season will start N...

  • Create memories and help the forest by bringing home a tree for the holidays

    News Release, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest|Updated Nov 29, 2023

    HELENA, Mont. – November 24, 2023 – It is the most wonderful time of the year on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest! Once again, our Forest Service offices and districts are providing Christmas/holiday tree permits for the season. "This permit provides communities a fun way to create adventures and family traditions on their local forest," said Forest Supervisor Emily Platt. Permits can be purchased online or in person at our Forest Service offices located in Hel...

  • Respect Access While Utilizing Block Management Areas

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Oct 25, 2023

    RESPECT ACCESS WHILE UTILIZING BLOCK MANAGEMENT AREAS Oct 23, 2023 8:31 AM MILES CITY – Although most hunters respect the land, property and wildlife they are hunting, a minority do not. Yet these few bad actors lead to frustration from private landowners and hunters looking to do things right. This year remember: It's up to us. Respect access. Protect the hunt. Every hunting season, there are reports of vandalism to Block Management Area (BMA) boxes, hunters driving off r...

  • Fish and Wildlife Commission subject to new transparency measures

    Updated Oct 25, 2023

    Newly bound by a settlement between a wolf advocacy group and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the seven-member Fish and Wildlife Commission charged with "wise management" of the state's fish and wildlife resources conducted its business with a particular eye toward transparency when it met Oct. 19. The Oct. 11 settlement, reached with Stevensville-based nonprofit Wolves of the Rockies, aims to close the book on a year-long dispute over open-government violations, more specif...

  • General season opens with mild weather, average hunter success in southwestern Montana

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Oct 25, 2023

    MISSOULA –The 2023 Montana big game general hunting season opened Saturday, Oct. 21, and hunters in the west-central part of the state found warm fall weather and a few less animals than in recent years. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wildlife check stations near Anaconda, Bonner, Fish Creek, and Darby saw 2,132 hunters collectively this weekend. Hunters checked 76 elk, 15 mule deer, 39 white-tailed deer, and one black bear. This compares to 2,016 hunter stops during the 2...

  • RESPONSIBLE HUNTERS ARE CRITICAL TO THE FUTURE OF HUNTING

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Oct 18, 2023

    HELENA - Although most hunters respect the land, property and wildlife they are hunting, a minority do not. Yet these few bad actors lead to frustration from private landowners and hunters looking to do things right. This year remember: It's up to us. Respect access. Protect the hunt. Every hunting season, there are reports of vandalizing of Block Management Area (BMA) boxes, hunters driving off road, illegal trespassing, hunters being shot over, littering, and livestock being...

  • Bird hunters should be aware of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Oct 18, 2023

    HELENA – Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was first detected in wild birds and domestic poultry in Montana in spring 2022. While HPAI cases in wild birds did decline over the summer, there are detections of new cases in parts of the U.S., including Montana again this fall. HPAI viruses are extremely infectious and fatal to poultry and some species of wild birds. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is continuing to monitor the situation by testing wild birds that display s...

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