FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE�SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 by HC120809152228

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									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—MARCH 23, 2012
Contact: Diane M. Tipton, 406-444-3079, or visit the FWP website at
fwp.mt.gov

FWP NEWS FOR MARCH 23

      UPLAND GAME BIRD COUNCIL TO MEET IN MILES CITY
      DEADLINE REMINDER FOR BIG GAME LICENSE PERMITS AND
       APPLICATIONS
      FWP SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON UPLAND GAME BIRD PROGRAM
       RULE CHANGES
      FWP OFFERS TWO PROGRAMS RELATED TO CRP ENROLLMENT
      SPRING TURKEY SEASON BEGINS SOON
      SPRING BLACK BEAR HUNTING COMING SOON
      DON'T FORGET MONTANA'S WATCHABLE WILDLIFE AT TAX TIME

FWP OUTDOORS EXTRA
TIME NOW TO PREPARE FOR THE BEARS
By Diane Tipton, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Statewide Information Officer



UPLAND GAME BIRD COUNCIL TO MEET IN MILES CITY
    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program's
citizen advisory council will meet in Miles City April 16-17 at FWP’s Region 7
headquarters, 352 I-94 Business Loop, beginning at 12:30 p.m. April 16.
       During its first tour of southeastern Montana, council members will tour habitat
projects and sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse leks.
        “Prairie grouse and wild turkey in the southeast portion of the state are – to
varying degrees – situated within a landscape of rangeland, cattle, energy exploration and
production,” said Joe Perry, council chair. "It is especially important for the council to
visit this area because of its unique game bird habitat needs and management challenges."
       Last year the advisory council submitted recommendations to the FWP
Commission on a long-range strategic plan for FWP’s Upland Game Bird Enhancement
Program. The commission accepted the strategic plan and now the advisory council is
focused on supporting its implementation.
         The meeting is open to the public and comments are welcome during the
comment period set on the agenda. Go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov and click
Upland Game Bird Council for meeting details.
         For more information, contact Debbie Hohler at: 406-444-5674, or by e-mail:
dhohler@mt.gov.
                                            -fwp-
DEADLINE REMINDER FOR BIG GAME LICENSE AND PERMIT
APPLICATIONS
     The deadline is May 1 to apply for moose, bighorn sheep, bison and mountain
goat licenses available through a drawing. The deadline to apply for antelope, deer B and
elk B licenses available through a drawing is June 1.
                                       -fwp-

FWP SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON UPLAND GAME BIRD PROGRAM
RULE CHANGES
     Revisions to the rules that guide Montana's Upland Game Bird Enhancement
Program are up for comment through April 13 on Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks'
website.
         The proposed revisions are necessary to implement the new UGBE Program
strategic plan endorsed by the FWP Commission in 2011.
         Most of the proposed changes fine tune the UBGE Program's requirements,
responsibilities, application and funding processes. Others clarify project renewals,
payments, and reporting issues.
         The proposed rule changes can be reviewed on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov
under "Submit Public Comments." Click on Commission and then Public Notices—ARM
Rules.
         Eight public meetings will be held in early April to discuss the proposed rules. All
meetings begin at 6 p.m.
        April 2 - Great Falls FWP Region 4 Office, 4600 Giant Springs Rd.
        April 3 - Billings FWP Region 5 Office, 2300 Lake Elmo Dr.
        April 4 - Bozeman FWP Region 3 Office, 1400 South 19th Ave.
        April 4 - Helena FWP Headquarters, 1420 East 6th Ave.
        April 5 - Miles City FWP Region 7 Office, 352 I-94 Business Loop
      April 9 - Kalispell FWP Region 1, 490 North Meridian Rd.
      April 9 - Missoula FWP Region 2, 3201 Spurgin Rd.
      April 10 - Fort Peck Fort Peck Fish Hatchery, 277 Highway 117
       The public may also provide comment through April 13 by mail to: Montana Fish,
Wildlife & Parks, Attn: UGBEP Rule Comments, P.O Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620.
                              -fwp-

FWP OFFERS TWO PROGRAMS RELATED TO CRP ENROLLMENT
     Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced two programs for landowners in 19
counties aimed at increasing public hunting access and enhancing the quality of upland
game bird habitat.
       Landowners must choose which program best suits their needs.
       "FWP wants to ensure producers are aware of the opportunities, but it is up to
them to select the opportunity that best fits their situation," said Debbie Hohler, Upland
Game Bird Enhancement Program Biologist.
               The "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters" is a pilot program that pays
landowners rent for lands they open to public game bird hunting. Producers may enroll
up to 160 CRP acres.
       The program funds, appropriated under the 2008 federal Farm Bill, are targeted
for productive game bird habitat enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program or the
Missouri-Madison River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the Montana
counties of: Broadwater, Cascade, Choteau, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Gallatin,
Glacier, Lewis and Clark, Madison, McCone, Pondera, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan,
Teton, Toole, and Wibaux.
       Participating landowners receive a one-time lump sum of $5 per acre each year
the land is enrolled in the program. Enrolled lands must be clearly posted for walk-in
game bird hunting. Because this program is intended to expand areas open to the public
for game bird hunting, lands that are already enrolled in FWP's Block Management
Program or the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program do not qualify.
       A second program enables FWP to share the cost of two Conservation Practice
seed mixes through the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program. Producers who plant
CP 25 seed mixes qualify for a cost-share of up to $16 an acre. CP2 seed mixes can
receive cost-share up to $14 per acre. Eligible counties for seed cost-share are: Cascade,
Choteau, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Glacier, McCone, Pondera, Richland,
Roosevelt, Sheridan, Teton, Toole, and Wibaux. Producers may enroll up to 640 acres.
          For more information on the seed mix cost-share program and an application, go
to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov and search for: “Upland Game Bird Enhancement
Program.” There is no deadline to apply.
          For more information and an application for the “Open Fields for Game Bird
Hunters” program, go to fwp.mt.gov and click "For Fish & Wildlife Information" on the
home page. Applications for the "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters" program must be
post-marked no later than April 20.
          Send applications to: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Wildlife Division;
Attention: Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement Program; P.O. Box 200701; Helena,
MT 59620.
          For details, contact Debbie Hohler at: 406-444-5674, or by e-mail:
dhohler@mt.gov.
                                -fwp-

SPRING TURKEY SEASON BEGINS SOON
     Montana's spring male turkey hunting season begins April 14 this year.
          Hunters may purchase a turkey license in a general area at FWP offices, license
providers or online. The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission expanded some
general turkey hunting areas in western Montana this year.
          The application deadline for western Montana's spring gobbler season permits has
passed.
          Hunters will find the 2012 spring turkey regulations, with details on turkey
hunting in the general area, at FWP offices and license providers and online at
fwp.mt.gov.
                                        -fwp-
SPRING BLACK BEAR HUNTING SEASON COMING SOON
     Montana's spring black bear hunting season opens April 15.
        Hunters may purchase black bear hunting licenses online at fwp.mt.gov, at
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks license providers, or print a paper license application and
mail it in to FWP.
        Licenses issued through the mail may take two weeks to process.
Spring black bear hunters should purchase their license by April 14. Black bear hunting
licenses purchased after April 14 may not be used until five days after purchase. Black
bear hunters are limited to one black bear license a year.
        The 2012 black bear regulations are available online on the FWP website at
fwp.mt.gov , at FWP region offices and license providers.
                                       -fwp-


DON'T FORGET MONTANA'S WATCHABLE WILDLIFE AT TAX TIME
     Montana's annual income tax check-off fund for nongame wildlife supports
conservation work that benefits birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
        This tax-deductible fund also provides taxpayers with a speedy, convenient write-
off at tax time.
        Work funded by the wildlife income tax check-off fund includes wildlife
monitoring, habitat improvement projects and the publication and distribution of
educational materials.
        Every dollar donated can be matched up to three times with federal dollars,
enhancing its value.
        For details on Montana's nongame check-off fund, go to the FWP website at
fwp.mt.gov and look under the heading Fish & Wildlife.
        And, don't forget to check the 2011 income tax form for Montana's income tax
check-off fund for wildlife.
                               -fwp-


FWP OUTDOORS EXTRA

TIME NOW TO PREPARE FOR THE BEARS
By Diane Tipton, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Statewide Information Officer
      Grizzly bears on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front are already stirring. Reports
that two grizzly bear family groups have already been spotted are reminders it is already
time to clean up any bear attractants to prevent potential conflicts with spring's hungry
bears.
         A Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game warden reported seeing a grizzly female
with three yearling cubs on the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area west of Choteau.
Another grizzly female with a couple of larger two-year old cubs was spotted west of
Dupuyer.
         Madel said it is uncommon in mid-March to see family groups of grizzlies.
         "Adult males usually emerge first from winter dens," he said. “I wouldn’t be
surprised if someone sees an adult male soon."
         When bears first emerge from their dens they are physically depleted and food is a
priority. They focus on finding and eating carrion, like winter-killed elk and deer, for a
quick boost of energy.
         "Since 2005 we've seen an uptick in the number of grizzly bear/human conflicts
due to the number of bears pushing out from the recovery zone to re-colonize traditional
grizzly habitat," Madel said. "We have good preventive measures in place where bears
were occurring—now, as the recovery continues, we are expanding that prevention
work."
         Jamie Jonkel, FWP grizzly bear management specialist in FWP Region 2 in the
Missoula area, said as grizzlies show up in the Little Blackfoot Valley and upper reaches
of the Clark Fork River Basin, they will be tempted to go where black bear, raccoons and
domestic dogs are already getting into garbage. These species getting into conflicts are an
early warning that food attractants are available and need to be removed.
         "FWP Region 2 is very interested in working with landowners and communities
in these areas to expand bear-aware practices," Jonkel said. "Conflict prevention steps
greatly reduce the chances of attracting a grizzly bear."
         Bear conflict prevention steps FWP recommends include bear resistant bins in
communities and on ranches; electric fence systems to protect bee yards and sheep
bedding grounds; random redistribution of livestock carcasses each spring; and
educational programs in schools and communities.
          Madel said female bears also expand into new areas, often as a result of
increasing numbers and a need for a more abundant food supply.
          Female bears generally take on a section of the mother's territory. Reproducing
females will have a 50-60 square mile home range.
          "If key foods don't develop, such as the huckleberry crop, the mother bear is
likely to move further down a river drainage than ever before to access food," Madel said.
"This movement becomes a learned behavior for her cubs too and puts bears into new
areas."
          FWP's Be Bear Aware website at fwp.mt.gov is an easy way for homeowners and
landowners to assess what they need to do now to prevent bear conflicts. Go there for tips
on obtaining and using bear spray, safe camping and hiking, access to bear resistant
produce and a guide to the many food-related and other items that attract bears to a
property. Also available here is a printable copy of FWP's Electric Fence Guide for
Bears.
          Bears are a part of Montana’s wildlife landscape and it can be a treat to see one in
the wild. Putting conflict prevention measures in place now will help keep it that way.
                                         -fwp-
SIDEBAR:
FWP RECOMMENDS THESE BEAR CONFLICT PREVENTION STEPS
   Take down bird feeders and remove any suet feeding stations used during the
          winter.
         Remember that compost piles, fruit trees, gardens and barbeque grills can all be
          bear attractants as the season progresses.
         Store grain and domestic pet foods in bear resistant containers or indoors.
         Properly dispose of any garbage warehoused until warmer weather.
         Avoid feeding dogs and other domestic pets outdoors.
         On ranches, redistribute carcasses to remote areas where if bears find them it is
          safe for them to feed.
      Install electric fencing to protect beehives, chicken yards, pig pens, or other pens
       housing newborn livestock.
For more tips, go to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website at fwp.mt.gov on the
Fish & Wildlife page click "Living With Wildlife" then Be Bear Aware.
                              -fwp-

								
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