ALBERTON — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is working to develop a comprehensive approach to managing recreation on its lands in the Fish Creek Watershed in Mineral County, approximately 30 miles west of Missoula. Public meetings, planned for late February and early March, are a chance to see draft strategies and provide early input.
FWP launched the Fish Creek planning process in the summer of 2022, working with the University of Montana and Global Park Solutions, to engage the local community and other stakeholders and take a look at recreation in the area holistically. Over the late summer and fall, the planning team worked with stakeholders and hosted a public survey to gather additional input.
Planning is focused on Fish Creek State Park and Wildlife Management Area, Big Pine and Forks Fishing Access Sites, and the Alberton Gorge. Although planning is specific to FWP lands, the team is working closely with other public land managers in the area, including the Montana Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.
The team is considering the area’s important fish and wildlife habit, historic and cultural resources, communities, private lands, and unique recreation opportunities as it plans for the future.
Next up in the planning process is a series of public meetings where attendees will have a chance to look at some draft strategies for managing recreation in the area and provide feedback:
- Missoula: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m.; FWP office (3201 Spurgin Road)
- Virtual/online: Wednesday, March 1, 6 p.m. Online meeting hosted on Zoom. Refer to the project web page at fwp.mt.gov for login information the week of the meeting.
- Superior: Thurs., March 2, 6p.m.; high school multipurpose room (410 Arizona Ave.)
Following these meetings, the planning team will take input gathered and develop a more formal, comprehensive draft planning document. This draft document will then be open for public via a 30-day comment period, tentatively set to begin in April. To learn more and stay connected to the project, the area, visit the Fish Creek planning project web page at fwp.mt.gov.