KALISPELL — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is starting a public planning process to help guide future use and development of the new Somers Beach State Park on Flathead Lake.
This process will kick off with a virtual public information meeting on March 16 at 6 p.m. Information on the meeting and planning process are available online at https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/somers-beach-planning-project.
The overall planning process is expected to take several months. In this initial stage, FWP will conduct public scoping through a survey that is posted online. The survey asks general questions about preferences, interests, and ideas for the site. The survey will be available through April 15.
“This scoping survey will help create some baseline information to initiate our planning process for Somers Beach,” said Dave Landstrom, FWP regional parks and outdoor recreation manager. “Public participation is extremely important to an informed planning process.”
Throughout this planning process, FWP hopes to engage with a diverse set of residents, current and prospective park users, subject matter experts, and key stakeholders. FWP will conduct surveys, hold in-person and virtual meetings, and gather necessary data from a variety of sources to help develop a vision for Somers Beach.
Later in the year, FWP will organize additional rounds of public feedback to narrow in on a site development proposal. A final planning document will be issued for additional public input before a recommendation is forwarded to the State Parks and Recreation Board for final approval.
FWP’s overall goal is to steward the site in a way that strikes an appropriate balance between providing safe, enjoyable recreational experiences with protecting fish, wildlife, habitat, and heritage resources.
In October 2021, FWP acquired the 106-acre Somers Beach property on the northwest shore of Flathead Lake with plans to add it to Montana’s state park system.
For more information, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/somers-beach-planning-project.