September 12, 2020
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
490 N. Meridian Road
Kalispell, MT 59901
RE: Somers Beach Acquisition Draft Environmental Assessment
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (Montana BHA) represents nearly 3,000 dues-paying public land owners concerned with fish and wildlife habitat, fair chase hunting and fishing opportunities and public access. Our Montana Chapter includes numerous members who recreate and fish around Flathead Lake, including the north shore.
Montana BHA strongly supports the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) acquisition of approximately 106 acres of land along the north shore of Flathead Lake for the creation of a new State Park, aka, the Somers Beach Acquisition. We also support the proposed funding mechanisms - the Land and Water Conservation Fund with matches from Parks Earned Revenue or General License Fund.
Upholding the protection and creation of contiguous public lands is a central value of MT BHA. The proposed Somers Beach Acquisition would offer such opportunity with the neighboring Flathead Lake Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on the east.
Montana BHA greatly appreciates the efforts of FWP and the Sliter family to ensure public access in perpetuity.
Molly VandeVoort, Flathead Board Member (Whitefish/Columbia Falls/Kalispell)
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers