The governor-appointed Greater Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Advisory Council will host seven public meetings later this month to examine a draft sage grouse habitat conservation strategy.
The draft strategy was developed over the past six months by the citizen-based advisory council. It details a state-led effort to address threats to the species as identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to preclude the need for listing the sage-grouse as a federally threatened or endangered species.
The strategy recommends the development of a conservation fund to support land stewardship practices beneficial to sage-grouse and a set of stipulations for state agencies to adhere to when permitting development and other activities in sage-grouse habitat. The strategy also includes recommended management practices for enhancing sage-grouse habitat.
The public meetings will be aimed at discussing and examining the strategy and taking comment on the council’s recommendations. Public meetings are scheduled for:
- Dillon Nov. 13; 6-8 p.m. U of M–Western, Mathews Hall, Lewis & Clark Room
- Billings Nov. 18; 6-8 p.m. FWP Region 5 Headquarters
- Baker Nov. 19; 1-3 p.m. Senior Citizens Center
- Miles City Nov. 19; 7-9 p.m. Miles City Community College, James P. Lucas Bldg.
- Glasgow Nov. 20; 6-8 p.m. Cottonwood Inn &Suites
- Malta Nov. 21; 12-2 p.m. First State Bank
- Lewistown Nov. 21; 6-8 p.m. FWP Lewistown Area Office
Council members and FWP will be on hand to discuss the strategy and the information displayed. Written comment can be submitted at each public meeting.
Copies of the draft strategy and comment forms will be available online at fwp.mt.gov. Click “Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy.” Public comment on the draft strategy will be accepted through 5 p.m. Dec. 4.
The council will provide its final recommendations to Gov. Steve Bullock in January. For more information, call 406-444-2612, or visit the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov.