Montana FWP Reviews Cooperative Habitat Management Lease Agreement
By Toby Trigger

Posted: February 27, 2016

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) seeks public review of its proposal to enter into a 10-year Cooperative Habitat Management Lease Agreement with the Pocha Ranch in Powell County, about 4 miles NNW of Helmville.  Under the proposed action the Pocha Ranch would have limited use for wintering livestock and grazing (cattle) or haying of approximately 70 acres of dry-land tame-grass pasture located on FWP’s Aunt Molly Wildlife Management Area (AMWMA). In exchange, 53 acres of Blackfoot River riparian habitat on the Pocha Ranch would be managed as part of AMWMA.  This parcel would be managed for wildlife habitat and would be open for public hunting and recreational opportunity that is consistent with public use rules on the AMWMA.  Additionally, the 53-acre parcel would provide access to an isolated portion of the AMWMA that is currently landlocked or accessible only under Montana’s Stream Access Law.

A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for this proposal, and it may be obtained by mail from Region 2 FWP, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804; by phoning 406-542-5540; by emailing shrose@mt.gov; or by viewing FWP’s Internet website http://fwp.mt.gov (“News,” then “Public Notices,” beginning February 23).

The direct web link to the Draft EA and comment page is:

http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmentalAssessments/conservation/pn_0029.html

Comments may be made online on the EA webpages or may be directed by mail or email to the addresses above. Comments must be received by FWP no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 23, 2016.