July 7, 2023
Lolo National Forest Supervisor’s Office
Attn: Amanda Milburn - Lolo Plan Revision
24 Fort Missoula Rd
Missoula, MT 59804
Dear Ms. Milburn:
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the draft assessment and potential species of conservation concern list for the Lolo National Forest Plan Revision.
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (MT BHA) represents roughly 3,000 dues-paying members and thousands of supporters in Montana. MT BHA works to keep public lands and waters public, to defend and improve public access, and to ensure quality fish and wildlife habitat and fair-chase hunting and fishing opportunities can be found when we get there. We value quiet recreation, large landscape conservation, and wild lands and waters.
We have reviewed the draft assessment and potential species of conservation concern list and see that it identified 60 animal species that warranted in depth evaluation, made up of 32 terrestrial and 28 aquatic species. We support conservation efforts that would benefit our wild and native flora and fauna, but naturally, our eyes were drawn to the bighorn sheep and Westslope Cutthroat trout, two iconic native species in this area, both held in the upmost respect by our members. We support their listing as species of concern and would request that mitigation efforts be considered to help alleviate threats to those two imperiled and coveted species found in the boundaries of the LNF. Efforts to protect and expand these two species will undoubtedly provide benefits to other non-huntable game and plant species as well.
We look forward to continuing to participate in the LNF Revision Process and thank you for the opportunity and consideration of our comments.
Andy Kulla, MT BHA Committee Member
Scott Mylnechuk, MT BHA Missoula Valley Board Member