Charles M. Russell Complex Management Plan Revision

joelweb

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The US Fish and Wildlife Service just announced that they are creating a new management plan for several refuge units in eastern Montana. Seems like an important opportunity to comment to ensure that compatible wildlife dependent recreation (i.e. hunting) is maintained. Are there any closed areas that could/should be opened?

https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...m_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email
 
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neffa3

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For those who hunt the CMR, the US Fish and Wildlife Service just announced that they are creating a new management plan for the refuge. Seems like an important opportunity to comment to ensure that compatible wildlife dependent recreation (i.e. hunting) is maintained. Are there any closed areas that could/should be opened?

https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...m_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email
Help me understand what information they are actually asking for? What types of comments would be beneficial to submit? If I feel like I'd just like to maintain the status quo, when would be a good time to submit that comment?
 

joelweb

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I just took a closer look at this and amended my earlier post. This is for the following refuge units within the CMR complex, but doesn't include the CMR refuge itself.​

Units Under Scoping​


Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District (WMD)​


The Charles M. Russell WMD is located in south-central Montana and includes parts of five counties: Golden Valley, Musselshell, Petroleum, Stillwater, and Yellowstone. The WMD includes three WPAs and several types of easements. The Clark's Fork WPA is a 271-acre (ac) tract of land located along the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River. Spidel WPA is a 1,246-ac tract of land located nearly 3 miles northeast of Broadview, Montana. The Tew WPA is 692 ac, and is located 15 miles northeast of Broadview in Musselshell County. Additional information about these WPAs is available at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/charles-m-russell-wetland-management-district.





Hailstone Waterfowl Production Area and National Wildlife Refuge​



Hailstone WPA and NWR were established primarily as breeding grounds for waterfowl and other wildlife. The Service purchased 1,988 ac of easement in 1979 to create the Hailstone WPA. Hailstone WPA and NWR are part of the Lake Basin area and are managed as a flowage and refuge easement. The current size of the flowage easement at Hailstone is 760 ac.


Grass Lake National Wildlife Refuge​


Grass Lake NWR is a 4,318-ac refuge that is one of the most productive migratory bird areas in central Montana. This Refuge is currently closed to all public uses.


Lake Mason National Wildlife Refuge​


Lake Mason NWR consists of three separate tracts of land in central Montana: the Lake Mason Unit, Willow Creek Unit, and North Unit. With the exception of the northern half of the Lake Mason Unit, the refuge is open to hunting of migratory game birds, upland game birds, and big game, as well as hiking and wildlife observation. The northern half of the Lake Mason Unit is closed to all public access, in order to increase the security and attractiveness of this area to migratory birds.


Warhorse National Wildlife Refuge​





War Horse NWR consists of three separate land units: Wild Horse, 440 ac; War Horse, 1,152 ac; and Yellow Water, 1,640 ac. War Horse NWR was established in 1958 as a “refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife” through a transfer of lands by the authority of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act. More information on the above NWRs can be found at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/charles-m-russell.
 

joelweb

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I think effective comments would not only focus on recommended habitat conservation and improvement, but also wildlife-dependent recreation. In order to allow hunting and fishing on a refuge, the Fish and Wildlfie Service must first determine that those activities are compatible with the purposes of the refuge. Good comments make a case.

"CCPs identify compatible wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including, where appropriate, opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation."
 
Yeti

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