FWP recently released a draft environmental assessment regarding a proposal to reintroduce marten (a forest furbearer in the weasel family) to the Little Belt Mountains in central Montana. Marten were historically present in the Little Belts but were likely extirpated by the early 20th Century. Habitat models predict that there is extensive marten habitat in the Little Belts, and marten currently occur in adjacent mountain ranges.
With the help of private Montana trappers, FWP proposes to initially live capture up to 60 marten in southwest Montana over the next two winters and release them in the Little Belt Mountains. The intent of the reintroduction is to establish a self-sustaining and genetically diverse population of marten there. FWP will also ask the Fish and Wildlife Commission to temporarily close the Little Belts to recreational marten trapping during and immediately following the re-introduction in order to allow marten to become established.
The draft EA for this proposal is available at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/or at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Great Falls, 406-454-5840. A 21-day public review and comment period will be available from July 10 through July 31, 2020. Written comment should be delivered to the following address: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; P.O. Box 527; White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645. Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org