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FWP extends public comment period for draft grizzly bear, wolf management plans

The new deadline is March 9, 2024.
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Posted at 1:23 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 15:23:07-05

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) says it has reopened the public comment period for the 2024 Grizzly Bear Management Plan and Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The new deadline is March 9, 2024.

FWP said in a media release the extension is to ensure all Montana counties, Tribes, and state and federal agencies have a chance for input.

“Wolves and grizzly bears are iconic and controversial species,” FWP Director Dustin Temple said in the release. “We want to ensure that everyone who has a stake in how these two species are managed can have a chance to comment on our draft plans before they are final."

FWP shared these details on the two plans, along with how to comment on each:

The new grizzly bear plan will inform management statewide, focusing on the 30 counties where grizzly bear presence has been documented in recent years or may be documented in the near future. Since grizzly bears are still listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the plan is designed to inform state management while this species remains federally listed. The plan also addresses FWP’s future vision for management when any grizzly bear populations in Montana are delisted and full management authority for them is returned to the state.

The wolf plan shifts a key counting metric from the number of breeding pairs to the number of wolves representing at least 15 breeding pairs. The plan establishes that 450 wolves would ensure 15 breeding pairs. Population estimates will continue to be determined by the peer-reviewed Integrated Patch Occupancy Modeling method, or iPOM. The plan also describes the current depredation prevention and response program.

Both draft plans were out for public comment in 2023. People who previously submitted comments on the draft plans do not need to submit them again.

To comment on the Grizzly Bear Management Plan, go to []. To comment on the Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, go to []. If you have already commented on the plans, your comments are captured and there is no need to comment further at this time.