Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks launches new program to improve wildlife habitat through weed management | TSLN.com

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks launches new program to improve wildlife habitat through weed management

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is launching a new program to improve wildlife habitat through noxious weed management on both public and private lands.

The Montana Wildlife Habitat Improvement Act was passed by the 2017 Montana Legislature. It authorizes FWP to allocate $2 million of federal funding annually toward the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program to fund grants for herbicide, biocontrol or mechanical weed treatments to restore priority wildlife habitats. Funds can also be used for seedings and improvements to livestock grazing as part of an overall integrated weed management plan.

The program will use federal funding through the Pittman-Robertson Act, which allocates federal dollars to state wildlife agencies for wildlife management activities, such as habitat improvement.

FWP's Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program will be focused on landscape-scale partnership projects, which may involve multiple landowners or agencies.

To launch this new grant program, FWP is doing three things: seeking public comment on administrative rules for the program, soliciting applications for a citizen council that would help the department oversee the program and determine grant awards, and calling for grant applications.

Public comment on the proposed administrative rules for the program can be submitted through Feb. 16. The deadline to apply for the citizen council is Feb. 8. The grant application deadline is Feb. 28.

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For more information on the program, including grant applications and proposed administrative rules, go online to fwp.mt.gov and look under "Popular" links. Or call Rick Northrup at 444-5633.

The public hearing on the proposed administrative rules will take place Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. FWP headquarters in Helena. Comments may be submitted online, at the public hearing and written comments may also be submitted to: Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program ARM Comments, Attn: Nick Mulvaney, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, PO Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or e-mail FWPNoxiousWeeds@mt.gov

–Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks