Public skeptical about Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ new strategy for Fish Creek

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is close to publishing a draft document for the Fish Creek State Park and Wildlife Management Area. But don’t call it a management plan — it’s a “recreation strategy.”

On Tuesday night at FWP Region 2 headquarters, more than 60 people listened to FWP Region 2 supervisor Randy Arnold and University of Montana facilitator Charles Besancon provide an outline of the recreation strategy for the 45,000-acre Fish Creek complex near Alberton Gorge, a draft of which should be released in late April.

“It’s not a management plan, which has a ton of specificity and description, but instead a strategy. This strategy will give us direction on how we’ll manage across major themes, some really clear specifics, but then give us space where individual project actions can be handled when we have capacity and time,” Arnold said. “We’ve been gathering a lot of information but don’t have a plan for you to react to. We think we have a good idea of what we’re hearing. But there’s plenty of room to adjust - we’re still listening, we’re still learning.”

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