Initially completed in 2005, the revision of Montana's Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Conservation Strategy will be developed by FWP, working closely with staff from other state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations. This team’s planning efforts will include public comment and participation.
"Public participation is an essential element of developing and carrying out the update," said Deb O'Neill, FWP's fish and wildlife plan coordinator in Helena. "FWP will provide updates and offer opportunities to comment throughout the revision process."
In 2000, federal legislation created the State Wildlife Grant program intended to fund conservation programs for all fish and wildlife, including species not pursued by hunters and anglers. Over the past seven years, Montana has used more than $7 million in SWG funds for conservation programs ranging from prairie fish surveys and loon research to trumpeter swan and grizzly bear conservation.
To participate, however, each state had to complete a conservation plan by 2005 and agree to revise that plan within 10 years. FWP decided to submit a revision by December 2013, as current research has provided more information on species and their habitats. "The revisions will reflect the current status of species within Montana to better direct FWP's conservation and management efforts for the next 10 years," O’Neill said.
Montana’s revised State Wildlife Action Plan will include updates to: a list of 60 species in greatest need of conservation; conservation funding priorities; and examinations of Montana's fish and wildlife habitats.
For more information contact Deb O’Neill, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-3755; or visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov. Click "Fish & Wildlife," then click "Conservation in Action."