The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says they are reopening the public comment period on the future of the National Bison Range. That’s in response to feedback the agency got earlier.
Service officials will hold a public meeting in Missoula next week.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson Ryan Moehring says the meeting is part of an ongoing scoping process for the National Bison Range’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan.
"That CCP as we call it, is a 15 year plan that sort of guides the way that each refuge is managed."
This will be the third meeting hosted this year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help the public learn about management plans that are being considered for the National Bison Range and areas within that refuge complex including the Lost Trail, Ninepipe and Pablo National Wildlife Refuges.
"We would recommend anyone that has a vested interest in the future of how the National Bison Range is managed to come out to this meeting," says Moehring.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, at 6 p.m. at the Missoula Public Library.
Two similar meetings were held in June in Polson and Kalispell, each with a turnout of only about 15 people. At both meetings, people raised concerns about understaffing at the bison range, invasive weed management and the status of special agreements between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes regarding co-management opportunities.
Following those meetings, Moehring says there was a call from some of the project’s cooperating partners to hold another meeting and reopen the public comment period which had closed June 19th. Concerns were raised by the CSKT, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Lake County and Sanders County.
Public comments are again being accepted for the National Bison Range’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement.
For more information regarding the National Bison Range Complex, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.
Comments to be considered can be emailed to: Scoping_nbr@fws.gov
Comments can also be mailed to this address:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Attention: Bernardo Garza
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80228