A petition, known as the Quiet Waters Initiative, was submitted to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission this past spring by Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. The petition states that Montana has experienced advanced motorized technology on its waterways, which has potentially opened up waters previously thought to be unusable by motorized water craft.
At its regular May meeting, the Commission initiated rulemaking on the petition, stating, in part, that the Commission should consider being proactive instead of reactive to the changes in recreation on Montana’s waterways to avoid conflicts and protect traditional and safe recreational uses.
Public hearings will be held to obtain public comment in Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls and Helena. The deadline for public comment is Sunday, February 12th.
For anyone who is interested in listening to the proceedings or giving public comment, the meeting will be available via videoconference at the Miles City Fish, Wildlife & Parks Headquarters on Monday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. Please contact the local office at 234-0900 if you plan to attend.
The 26-page petition is broken down by watershed, including the Clark Fork River watershed, the Upper Flathead River watershed, the Upper Missouri River (from Three Forks to Pelican Point Fishing Access Site), the Missouri river (from Pelican Point FAS to the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument), and the Upper Yellowstone River watershed. To view the petition, you can visit http://www.fwp.mt.gov. On the home page under “What’s Trending,”click on Quiet Waters Proposed Rules.
Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Attn: Quiet Waters Petition, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or e-mail QuietWaters@mt.gov. Comments must be received no later than Feb. 12, 2017.