News from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

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Watercraft Inspection Stations opening for the season

The watercraft inspection station south of Dillon on Interstate 15 opens on March 31. The station will be open on weekends until mid-April then it will be open 7 days a week.

Opening dates for all inspection stations will vary depending on location, boat traffic and risk of transporting aquatic invasive species. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Blackfeet Tribe also opened watercraft inspection stations in March, in partnership with FWP.

All watercraft are required to stop when a station is encountered including all motorized boats, canoes, kayaks, rafts, drift boats, personal pontoons and stand-up paddle boards. An inspection is required for all watercraft entering the state prior to launch as well as all watercraft crossing west over the Continental Divide and entering the Flathead Basin. Inspections are quick and easy if the boat is clean, drained and dry.

These heightened efforts at protecting Montana’s waters are in response to the detection of invasive mussel larvae found in water samples from Tiber Reservoir and a suspect sample from Canyon Ferry Reservoir in the fall of 2016.

As in past years, watercraft owners should always practice “Clean, Drain and Dry”: Clean all debris from the watercraft and trailer; Pull drain plugs and make sure all compartments, bilges and ballasts are drained; Dry out your watercraft, including dry wells, storage areas and compartments.

Follow these simple steps to help protect our waters from aquatic invasive species.

For more information and a map of watercraft inspection stations, go to cleandraindrymt.com.

Private Land/Public Wildlife Council meets April 6

The Private Land/Public Wildlife (PL/PW) Council will meet April 6 in Helena from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express at 3170 N. Sanders St.

This will be the first meeting for Council members who have been re-appointed to continue working on landowner and sportsmen relations issues. Council members will review the 2017 legislative session, hear presentations on updates to FWP hunter access programs, review the discovery of CWD in Montana as well as discuss other topics and issues along with examining potential 2019 legislative initiatives.

The PL/PW Council, appointed by the governor, is charged with reviewing FWP access programs and offering recommendations to help achieve program goals and maintaining good relations between hunters and landowners.

Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting and observe council proceedings. A time for the public to address comments to the council is scheduled for 4 p.m. For more information about the PL/PW Council, including the April meeting agenda, visit fwp.mt.gov/hunting/hunterAccess/plpw/ or, contact Hank Worsech, FWP Legislative Liaison, at 406-444-4573 or email hworsech@mt.gov.

FWP to review trapping season at April 7 meeting

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Trappers Association will host its annual meeting in Kalispell on April 7, where regulations and annual harvest information will be discussed. The public is welcome to attend. The meeting will start 10 a.m. at FWP Region 1 headquarters at 490 N. Meridian in Kalispell.

Registration opens for succession planning workshop

Passing the family business and its land to the next generation can be a challenge. An April 30 workshop — “Ties to the Land — Your Family Forest Heritage: Planning for an Orderly Transition” — aims to ease the process.

The workshop — sponsored by Forest Stewardship Foundation, the Montana Association of Land Trusts, Flathead Land Trust, Montana Land Reliance, Flathead Lakers and Fish, Wildlife and Parks — will focus on ways to maintain family ties to the land from generation to generation, building awareness of key challenges facing family businesses and motivating families to address those challenges. It will also be relevant to professionals who work with landowner families.

The workshop will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at FWP Region 1 headquarters at 490 N. Meridian in Kalispell. The cost is $50 for the first family member and $10 per additional family member. The fee includes refreshments and one copy per family of the workbook “Ties to the Land: Your Family Forest Heritage,” a $25 value. Additional copies will be available at the workshop or online at www.tiestotheland.org.

For more information, call Ed Levert at 406-293-2847.

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Libby, MT 59923

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