Gary Bertellotti (Region 4 Supervisor)
Ryan Rauscher (Area Wildlife Biologist) [email protected]
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks
514 South Front Street, Ste C
Conrad, MT 59425
RE: Chip Creek Public Scoping
November 1, 2021
Dear Mr. Bertellotti and Mr. Rauscher:
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers represents roughly 3,000 dues-paying sportsmen and women in Montana who value quality fish and wildlife habitat and ethical conduct in the outdoors. Our Montana Chapter includes many members who hunt and fish in northcentral Montana, especially around Fort Benton and the Marias River.
Montana BHA applauds FWP for initiating the preliminary public scoping evaluation in hopes of ultimately purchasing the Chip Creek conservation easement. We believe that protecting critical grassland habitat, adding quality opportunities and improving access to private and adjacent public lands are the foundation for ensuring the future of our beloved Montana hunting and fishing traditions. Montana’s native grasslands require deliberate conservation efforts, and we are thrilled to see this large acreage being considered for that collaborative protection. This is exactly the sort of project that sportsmen and women hope to see our license dollars going towards.
We offer our enthusiasm for this Chip Creek project during the important first step in the process. We understand the importance of due diligence in securing easements and support the Department in preparing an Environmental Assessment on this proposal. To that end, we stand ready to assist the Department with the necessary steps to see to it that the Chip Creek CE becomes a reality. We appreciate the Department for its leadership and dedication to the Montana public and stand ready to assist as this project moves forward. Please don’t hesitate to call on us!
John Sullivan, Board Chair, Missoula, MT
Thomas Baumeister, Capital Board Member, Helena, MT
Doug Krings, Central Montana Board Member, Lewistown, MT