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June 12 Commission meeting postponed


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Having heard concerns about the economic impact of COVID-19 and being sensitive to uncertain and changing business dynamics, the Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission has postponed its June 12 meeting, during which it was to decide whether to put out for public comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) on alternatives for managing recreation on the Madison River.

The Commission had scheduled the official meeting for Friday to consider the EA, but realized mitigating factors caused by the pandemic necessitate a change of course. The Commission will instead take up the issue at its August meeting.

“The Commission is committed to exploring this issue and understands clearly the challenges facing recreation management on the Madison River,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “This has been a long process that we look forward to continuing. It’s so important to move this to a point where we can hear from all members of the public about the public waters of the Madison. We look forward to getting there and hearing from all who care about this river resource and the surrounding communities.”

In a draft EA made available to the public May 29, FWP explained its purpose to a manage recreational use of the Madison River in a manner that: 1) ensures long-term health and sustainability of the fisheries; 2) diversifies angling opportunity while reducing conflicts; and 3) sustains the ecological and economic benefits of the river to Montanans and our guests.

Because the Commission has delayed its meeting to consider the draft EA and seek public comment, the draft has not been formally adopted, and there is no formal comment period at this time.