Fewer Fences, More Bighorns on CMR Refuge?


It is a requirement by law that every national wildlife refuge has a comprehensive conservation plan, or CCP.  This CCP provides managers with a 15-year plan for the refuge.  A draft plan for the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana was just released and outlines prospective future plans.  This is a draft and is now open for public comment. 

Different strategies for management fall into the following three categories.  In each of these alternatives, “we” refers to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Alternative A—No Action. Few changes would occur in the management of existing wildlife populations and habitat. Wildlife-dependent public and economic uses would continue at current levels.
  • Alternative B—Wildlife Population Emphasis. We would manage the landscape, in cooperation with our partners, to emphasize the abundance of wildlife populations using balanced natural ecological processes such as fire and grazing by wild ungulates and responsible synthetic methods such as farming and tree planting. Wildlife-dependent public use would be encouraged, and economic uses would be limited when they compete for habitat resources.
  • Alternative C—Public Use and Economic Uses Emphasis. We would manage the landscape, in cooperation with our partners, to emphasize and promote the maximum compatible wildlife-dependent public use and economic uses while protecting wildlife populations and habitats to the extent possible. Damaging effects on wildlife habitat would be minimized while using a variety of management tools to enhance and diversify public and economic opportunities.

CLICK HERE to read more from the Federal Register, including the “Key Actions” that are proposed to accomplish the goals in the above three alternatives.  More from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be available at their website.

A series of public meetings will be held as follows:

  • Billings, September 28, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Billings Hotel and Convention Center, 1223 Mullowney Lane
  • Bozeman, September 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, 5 East Baxter Lane
  • Great Falls, September 30, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Best Western Heritage Inn, 1700 Fox Farm Road
  • Lewistown, October 12, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Yogo Inn, 211 East Main Street
  • Jordan, October 13, 2:00-4:00 p.m., VFW Post, 11 South Main Street
  • Glasgow, October 14, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Cottonwood Inn, 45 1st Avenue North
  • Malta, October 14, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Malta High School, 12 S 9th Street West

Public comments will be taken through November 8, 2010.   Once regulations.gov has been updated with this listing, the link to submit comment online will be available here.

Written comments should be submitted to:

Charles M. Russell NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan; Attn: Laurie Shannon, Planning Team Leader; P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO  80225-0486; Tel 303/236-4317 or Fax 303/236-4792.

© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp


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