MFWP weighs Flathead Lake addition
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: November 9, 2015

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) proposes to purchase approximately 76.7 acres of farmland and wetlands located along the north shore of Flathead Lake about 4.5 miles east of the community of Somers. Funding for the project would be provided by Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act funding.

The primary purpose of the proposed land acquisition is to protect and manage this land to restore or improve natural riparian/wetland habitats, to continue annual crop production to benefit resident and migratory waterfowl, to improve and maintain habitat for other wildlife, and to provide opportunities for seasonal and compatible public recreation. Other benefits of this project include protecting ground water, surface water, and wetlands on or near Flathead Lake. This will help improve or maintain the high water quality of Flathead Lake for benefits of aquatic life and fish and wildlife habitat.

FWP proposes to incorporate this parcel into FWP’s wildlife management area program and it would become part of the existing North Shore Wildlife Management Area (North Shore WMA). The Flathead Land Trust has been instrumental in initiation of this and several projects with FWP on the north shore of Flathead Lake. The proposed Management Plan is included as part of the draft environmental assessment (EA).

Copies of the draft are available at the FWP office, 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell; Montana State Library, 1515 E 6th Ave., Helena; FWP State Headquarters, 1420 E 6th Ave., Helena; the FWP website at: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmentalAssessments/acquisitionsTradesAndLeases/pn_0177.html

The public comment period will extend from November 6th through 5:00 pm on December 5th, 2015. Written comments can be mailed to: North Shore WMA Proposed Addition, FWP, 490 N Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT 59901, or e-mail to nivy@mt.gov FWP will hold a project presentation/public hearing on November 24, 2015 beginning at 6:30 pm at the Somers Middle School located at 315 School Addition Road, Somers, MT. For questions please contact Kris Tempel at 406-751-4573 or e-mail to ktempel@mt.gov