KALISPELL — The citizen group tasked with recommending population goals for mountain lions in northwest Montana is meeting March 1-2, 2022.
The Northwest Lion Ecoregional Population Objective Committee is convening via Zoom starting at 8:15 a.m. both days. Interested members of the public are invited to participate and provide input. Meeting information is available online at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/nw-mountain-lion-workgroup.
This new committee consists of 10 citizens representing a broad spectrum of mountain lion stakeholders who reside within or close to the ecoregion. The committee met in early January for the first time. The group is tasked with making recommendations that Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks can carry forward to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The committee is working with FWP to define a planning strategy to manage the northwestern mountain lion ecoregional population for sustainability at a target level that maximizes public satisfaction related to lion hunter opportunity, lion conflict, and ungulate population trends.
The committee will specifically focus on developing recommendations regarding:
- Target population trend (Increase, Decrease, Stable)
- Degree of ecoregional population size change (% up or % down)
- Lion Management Unit (LMU) emphases (e.g., older-age class harvest, conflict reduction, aid ungulates, more opportunity, or others)
The committee is not charged with recommending season structures, license types, or specific allocation of quotas among Lion Management Units (LMUs).
In 2019, the Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the new Mountain Lion Monitoring and Management Strategy. This strategy outlines the scientific basis for conserving, monitoring and managing harvest of mountain lions in Montana. An integral part of implementing this new strategy is the formulation of a committee in each of the three western ecoregions, beginning with the northwest ecoregion, which includes all of FWP’s Region 1 and a portion of Region 2.
For more information, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/nw-mountain-lion-workgroup.