January 5th, 2018
Region 2 MTFWP Comment Coordinator
3201 Spurgin Road
Missoula, Montana 59804
To Ms. Sharon Rose:
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers highly encourages the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks to acquire the proposed 154- acre addition to the 9,635-acre Garrity Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
MTBHA is supportive of the Natural Resource Damage Programs’ Restoration Plan (2012) and acquiring this parcel is important as it is a priority landscape for conservation action. The fact that this addition will help secure a migration corridor for the region’s big horn sheep makes it extremely valuable, in addition to it securing great wintering habitat for multiple big game species. As Species of Greatest Conservation Need, the bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout habitat in the portions of the Warm Springs and Barker creeks that run through the proposed addition further makes this acquisition a fantastic action for FWP to undertake. Securing these habitats also secures in perpetuity wonderful recreation opportunities here to hunt, fish, observe wildlife and hike near to them.
We are highly supportive of collaborative conservation and are thankful to see that this project is part of an ongoing multi-partner initiative including: the Montana Chapter of the North American Wild Sheep Foundation, the Anaconda Sportsmen Club, the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program.
The 2,000 MTBHA members advocate to protect large parcels of fish and wildlife habitat as well as the opportunity for traditional non-motorized hunting and fishing experiences. Our organization advocates for healthy, connected habitat, open spaces, and the continuity of Montana’s heritage of working lands. The primary benefits of this property are highly aligned with our organization’s values and we highly support FWP’s acquisition to this 154- acre addition to the Garrity Mountain WMA.
Please inform us of any additional activity on this proposed project and how we might continue to support this and other such efforts.
Hannah J. Nikonow, Region 2 Board Member
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers