Fish, Wildlife & Parks updates and briefs

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Snowmobile Grants Open for Public Comment

Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) is seeking public comment on 25 grant applications for Snowmobile Trail Grooming funds for the 2019-2020 winter season. Public comment will be accepted through Saturday, August 3, at 5 p.m.

The Montana Snowmobile Program, as administered by Montana State Parks, was established in the early 1970’s and is an essential component of both motorized and non-motorized winter recreational activities in the state. Montana’s groomed trails provide important access and recreational opportunities for users such as snowmobiles, cross-country skiers, snowboarders, dogsleds, fat-tire bikes, and snowshoers.

Funding is provided annually to 25 local snowmobile clubs who conduct the grooming of over 4,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails throughout the state. The Montana Snowmobile Program is funded through a percentage of the state gas tax paid by snowmobile users, snowmobile registration fees, non-resident snowmobile temporary use permits, and resident groomed trail passes. The program is separate from Montana State Parks funding sources and revenues. There is $410,000 available for the upcoming season.

A list of the proposed 2019-2020 winter season snowmobile grooming grant awards is available at stateparks.mt.gov under “Recreation Activities & Grants”. Public comment will be open for 30 days. Comments are accepted through Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

To comment online visit: stateparks.mt.gov and click on “Public Notices” or by email at snowmobilegrants@mt.gov. Comments may be sent by mail to Montana State Parks, Snowmobile Program, 1420 East 6th Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

For more information about the Montana Snowmobile Program visit: http://stateparks.mt.gov/recreation/snowmobileProgram.html. Or contact Seth McArthur, Montana Snowmobile Program Manager at (406) 444-3753.

Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.

FWP Review of access rule for Stimson Lumber lands

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public input on its proposal to renew a biennial rule that provides recreational access on Stimson Lumber Company lands in Region 1, which spans northwest Montana.

This biennial rule would provide public recreational access on 100,801 acres of Stimson lands, including former Weyerhaeuser Co. lands. It establishes public use regulations and allows for year-round access.

The current proposed renewal of this rule would be for year-round recreational access for public use from Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 to Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.

To review the rule and to comment, visit FWP’s website, fwp.mt.gov, under “News,” then “Recent Public Notices.” Or, request information and comment by contacting Region 1 FWP, 490 North Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT; by phoning 406-751-4582; or by emailing chammond@mt.gov.

Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1.

Donations to wolf mitigation account being accepted

Donations to the voluntary wolf mitigation account are now being accepted through Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Those interested can submit a donation in one of two ways.

Donors can select the Wolf Mitigation donation option under the Conservation heading on FWP’s Online License Service Website.

Donors can also donate in person at any FWP License Provider.

The voluntary wolf mitigation account was established by House Bill 291 in the 2019 Legislature and became effective July 1.

Funding from the account will be used by the Montana Department of Livestock to contract for wolf management with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services for flight time, collaring and lethal control of wolves.

FWP, Capital Sports to host paddle fest on July 20

Curious about kayaking or stand up paddle boards?

Join Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Capital Sports for a free paddling event on Saturday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Helena Regulating Reservoir.

Participants can try out a variety of kayaks and paddle boards. Experienced instructors will be on the water to help you learn the ropes. Kids 10 and under must paddle with an adult. Please bring a life jacket or borrow one of ours.

Kids activities and information booths will also available on shore before and after paddling.

For more information about this free event, contact Sara Smith, boating education coordinator for FWP’s recreational boating safety program, at 406-444-5280 or sarsmith@mt.gov.

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