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  • Op-Ed: Legislature cut red tape to increase housing availability

    Sen. Jason Ellsworth - R, Hamilton|Updated Oct 18, 2023

    The Legislature's major zoning reforms to increase the supply of affordable housing in Montana have made a lot of news, but there was also another significant pillar of our pro-housing work during the session: cutting red tape. Excessive government regulations have been one of the barriers to meeting demand for housing. Every regulation also increases costs, making what homes do get built more expensive than they otherwise would be. The Legislature's regulatory reforms touched...

  • 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...

  • CWD sample collection workshops scheduled in Billings and Harlowton

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Oct 10, 2023

    BILLINGS – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is offering two free instructional workshops for hunters to learn how to collect chronic wasting disease samples from deer, elk and moose. The first workshop will be Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Billings FWP office (2300 Lake Elmo Dr.) from 5-7 p.m. A second workshop will be held in Harlowton on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Montana Department of Transportation weigh station parking lot from 5-7 p.m. Registration is required. To register a...

  • Make sure to have meat tested for CWD prior to donation, commercial processing

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Oct 10, 2023

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks along with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services are advising hunters to have their deer, elk and moose tested for chronic wasting disease. FWP strongly recommends that hunters receive a negative CWD test result before bringing their deer, elk or moose to a meat processor or donating it to a foodbank. While it is not a requirement, FWP is asking hunters to have a negative CWD test result in hand before bringing their a...

  • Come work on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

    News Release, USFS|Updated Oct 10, 2023

    HELENA, Mont. – Oct. 4, 2023- The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is seeking motivated candidates to help manage our forests, recreation facilities, trails, and more. Applications for permanent seasonal positions will be accepted from Oct. 19 through Nov. 22, and applications for temporary positions will be accepted from Oct. 26-Nov. 8. All applications must be submitted on www.usajobs.gov. "If you enjoy working outside and want to serve on an exceptional team, we'd l...

  • Good time to apply for Apprentice Hunter Program

    News Release, Montan FWP|Updated Oct 5, 2023

    Good time to apply for apprentice program HELENA – Montana's two-day, youth-only deer hunt is coming up Oct. 19 and 20, and general deer season opens Oct. 21. Now is a good time to consider signing up for the Apprentice Hunter Program. The apprentice hunter program allows people ages 10 and older to hunt as apprentices with a mentor for two seasons without completing a Hunter Education course. Fish, Wildlife & Parks highly recommends that interested people visit the website a...

  • How artificial intelligence plus local expertise can promote 'good fire' in Montana 

    Bowman Leigh, Montana Free Press|Updated Oct 2, 2023

    On an unassuming hillside in the Lolo National Forest outside Missoula, tall piles of dead branches and hand-thinned small trees dot the forest floor on either side of a winding dirt road. It's late August, and Missoula District Ranger Crystal Stonesifer and members of the district's fire management team stand outside their pickup truck and look over the mounds of woody debris, evidence of treatments being applied to the forest to slow future wildfires. The piles indicate...

  • Legislative audit describes lack of trust, communication between FWP headquarters and game wardens

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Oct 2, 2023

    Wardens working for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks described a shift toward enforcement and administrative tasks that has moved the division toward a "cop" culture versus the "cowboy" culture most prefer, according to an audit the Legislative Audit Division released last week. The audit, which was completed at the request of the bipartisan Legislative Audit Committee, also highlighted communication issues, waning morale and concerns about a lack of trust between the...

  • Hunter shoots and injures grizzly bear near Fairfield

    Updated Sep 19, 2023

    GREAT FALLS – A hunter shot and wounded a grizzly bear on Tuesday near Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area near Fairfield. The surprise encounter happened on the morning of Sept. 12. The hunter was walking along a shelter belt hunting for upland birds on private land when he was charged by the bear, which based on evidence of the animal found at the scene is believed to be an adult male. The hunter fired twice with his shotgun at less than 15 feet, hitting the bear at l...

  • Wild Montana Releases Fall Wilderness Walks Schedule

    News Release, Wild Montana|Updated Sep 11, 2023

    Helena – This year, Wild Montana will offer a fall Wilderness Walks season for the first time as part of the organization's effort to provide year-round educational opportunities. The free group outings combine education with wilderness experiences on public lands. Participants can graze on wild berries, marvel at constellations, summit a peak, and write poetry, all in the name of conservation and community. "Thanks to our amazing volunteers, we're offering fall Wilderness Wal...

  • FWP seeking high school student for Future Fisheries citizen review panel

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Sep 11, 2023

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking a current high school student to fill a two-year term on the Future Fisheries citizen review panel. FWP's Future Fisheries Improvement Program grants approximately $1 million annually for projects to improve and restore Montana's wild fish habitats. The 14-member citizen review panel meets twice a year to review proposals and recommend projects to the Fish & Wildlife Commission for funding. Review panel members are a...

  • National officials should spark prescribed burns on federal lands to mitigate extreme fire seasons

    Madilynne Clark, Mountain States Policy Center|Updated Aug 9, 2023

    As the summer heat intensifies, peak fire season is migrating north, but the critical practice of prescribed burning continues to avoid the western states. Oregon (4), Idaho (5), Montana (9) and Washington (10) suffered more acres burned than most of the United States in 2022, all ranking in the top ten states of acreage burned in 2020 to 2022 (rank refers to 2022). Utah (21) and Wyoming (22) trailed slightly behind. Despite the ongoing fire danger and consequences,...

  • Recent grizzly bear sightings highlight the importance of bear awareness

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jul 19, 2023

    HELENA – This year Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has confirmed grizzly bear sightings in several places where grizzlies haven't been seen in recent years, and in some cases more than a century. Grizzly bear numbers and range continue to expand, particularly in areas between the Northern Continental Divide and the Great Yellowstone ecosystems. Over the last couple of months, FWP staff have confirmed grizzly bear sightings in the North Hills and Grizzly Gulch areas near H...

  • Continental Divide Trail Coalition Launches Stakeholder Survey

    Press Release, Continental Divide Trail Coalition|Updated Jul 10, 2023

    GOLDEN, CO (JULY 5, 2023) - The Continental Divide Trail Coalition is conducting a widespread survey of communities and stakeholders connected to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The CDTC Community Feedback Survey period is open through the end of July 2023, and individuals, tribal representatives, organizations, and businesses in the CDT landscape are encouraged to participate. Contributions from the survey will help guide the next phase of community-centric cons...

  • FWP seeks comment on draft environmental assessment of elk management plan

    Press Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jul 10, 2023

    HELENA – A draft environmental assessment of the 2023 Draft Elk Management Plan is now available for public review and comment. The draft EA is available on FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov/public-notices/news/2023/jun/0630-2023-draft-elk-management-plan-ea. The deadline for comments is July 31. Earlier this month, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks released the 2023 Draft Elk Management Plan for public review and comment. The deadline for comments on the plan is also July 31. While t...

  • Conservation license required to access most state lands

    Press Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jun 28, 2023

    HELENA – Working with the 68th Legislature, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) simplified licensing requirements on state lands as part of Governor Gianforte's Red Tape Relief Task Force. The two agencies consolidated the conservation license and state lands recreational use license into one annual conservation license, supporting the maintenance of places like fishing access sites, wildlife m...

  • FWP seeks public comment on draft language regarding grizzly bear management

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jun 28, 2023

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on amendments to Administrative Rules of Montana addressing grizzly bears. At its meeting on Aug. 17, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will make a final decision on draft language proposed by FWP to for new rules and to amend current ARM rule 12.9.1401. The language was drafted after Senate Bill 295 passed during the 2023 Legislative Session and became law. The law clarifies how Montana will manage g...

  • Snowmobile Advisory Committee to meet June 23 in Helena

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jun 20, 2023

    HELENA – The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Snowmobile Advisory Committee will meet in Helena on June 23, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Montana WILD, 2668 Broadwater Ave. The mission of the committee is to advise FWP on snowmobile grooming issues related to funding, provision, development, renovation, maintenance, management, usage and promotion of snowmobile trails. Agenda items include: Snowmobile Program Standard Budgets Grooming grants Training/Education Topics 2023 l...

  • Look Out for Harmful Algal Blooms When Recreating this Summer

    News Release, Montana DEQ|Updated Jun 20, 2023

    HELENA-When recreating on Montana's waterbodies this spring, summer and fall, be on the lookout for harmful algal blooms (HABs) that can occur on Montana's reservoirs and lakes. While not all algal blooms contain toxins, the blooms can impact human health and the health of freshwater ecosystems. Report suspected HABs at HAB.mt.gov to help others be alert and prevent illness. How to identify a HAB: A coloration or scum on the surface of the water that can look like grass...

  • Elk hunting access and public land access agreements open more than a million acres to the public

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jun 20, 2023

    HELENA – This hunting season, two Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks programs will open up access to more than a million acres of private and inaccessible or under accessible public land. At its meeting on June 8, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved 49 Elk Hunting Access Agreement (EHA) applications, which will allow access to a half million acres of private land. In addition to this, in 2023 FWP staff worked with landowners to open up 540,000 acres of i...

  • FWP's biennial hunting season-setting process begins in June

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will kick off the biennial hunting season-setting process earlier to allow for more public engagement and greater transparency. Public involvement will begin in June and end in November. In the past, public involvement happened primarily in December and January. FWP will conduct scoping meetings around the state from June 15 to July 15. FWP staff will look to hunters to provide broad input on regulation changes they'd like to see. S...

  • Grizzlies drawn to attractants in Lincoln Springs area

    Roger Dey, BVD|Updated May 3, 2023

    Spring is in full swing and bears are on the move across western Montana, and the activities of a distinctive female Grizzly and a pair of three-year-old subadults in the Lincoln Springs area have been a cause for concern among residents there. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist Jamie Jonkel said the bear has been seen in the area for some time and has never been collared, but for the first time this year she's been seen coming up onto porches....

  • Wild Montana Hosting Wilderness Walks, including several in Lincoln area

    News Release, Montana Wild|Updated May 3, 2023

    WILDERNESS WALKS HOSTED BY WILD MONTANA'S WILD DIVIDE CHAPTER Keeping the Divide Wild: The Lincoln Prosperity Proposal Tuesday, June 6 Webinar Join us online to learn how the Lincoln Prosperity Proposal will permanently protect the wild Continental Divide around Lincoln. We'll converse with Wild Montana Federal Legislative Director Zach Angstead to get grounded in the basics of the proposal and hear what makes this landscape so special. We'll also hear from partners in the...

  • Spend your summer on the forest as a volunteer campground host

    News release, USFS|Updated May 3, 2023

    GREAT FALLS, Mont., May 1, 2023 - If you have ever wished to spend an entire summer on the forest, here is your chance! Recreation staff from the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest are once again recruiting volunteers to serve as campground hosts for the Many Pines and Dry Wolf Campgrounds located in the Little Belt Mountains and Thain Creek Campground located in the Highwood Mountains. "Campground hosts provide their own trailer and occupy a prominent campsite in a...

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