Fireworks prohibited on Forest Service lands

During the Fourth of July holiday, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest reminds visitors that fireworks are prohibited on all state and federal lands, including Forest Service.

Fireworks — and the possession of fireworks — are prohibited on National Forest System lands at any time of year and could cost violators up to $330 in fines.

Forest Service offices will be closed today, July 4, in honor of Independence Day. All offices will reopen with regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to the public on Friday, July 5.

Upper Missouri reservoirs plan open house

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has scheduled three open houses to discuss the Upper Missouri River Reservoirs Fisheries Management Plan. The plan guides fisheries management on Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter reservoirs and the Missouri River below Toston and Hauser dams.

The open house schedule is:

  • July 8 – Helena, Montana Wild Auditorium, 6 p.m.
  • July 10 – Great Falls, Region 4 Headquarters, 6 p.m.
  • July 17 – Bozeman, Region 3 Headquarters, 6 p.m.

FWP determined which areas of the plan needed to be addressed based on public scoping in summer 2018 and open houses and an online survey conducted last winter. This spring, a 15-member citizen work group representing a variety of interests was convened to consider these specific areas of the plan and develop alternatives for FWP to include in the next draft plan.

The work group developed alternatives for the following issues: plan responsiveness and duration; rainbow trout stocking; yellow perch management in Canyon Ferry and Holter; and walleye management throughout the plan area. The open houses will provide an opportunity to learn more about the alternatives and give input on alternatives for the draft plan.

Work underway on Pipestone Pass Trailhead

A new trailhead for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail at Pipestone Pass on Montana Highway 2 is underway. 

When completed, the trailhead will provide a larger parking area and safer access to and from the highway to accommodate trail users. The trailhead will be closed throughout the construction period, which should last through the summer. Trail users should use caution when crossing the highway as trucks will be working at the crossing location, approximately 1,000 feet east of the pass.

The construction of the trailhead is part of a national priority by the Forest Service and other land management agencies to complete the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and access facilities that travels from Canada to Mexico. Contact the Butte Ranger District for more information at 406-494-2147.

Stevens to lead Western Montana BLM 

Katie Stevens took the oath of office as the manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s Western Montana District.

She replaces Richard Hotaling, who retired from the BLM at the end of 2018.

Stevens comes to the Western Montana District from Colorado where she worked in the BLM’s Grand Junction Field Office for the last 10 years. She got her start with the BLM in the Montana/Dakotas State Office in Billings where she worked for eight years as both a planning coordinator and conservation planner before moving to Colorado. There, she served as a National Conservation Area Manager in Grand Junction before taking the field manager position. A Montana native, Stevens earned her degree in environmental studies from Montana State University-Billings.

Donate to wolf mitigation

Donations to the voluntary wolf mitigation account will be accepted through Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Those interested can submit a donation two ways:

  • By selecting the Wolf Mitigation donation option under the Conservation heading on FWP’s Online License Service Website
  • In person at any FWP License Provider

The voluntary wolf mitigation account was established by House Bill 291 in the 2019 Legislature and became effective July 1.

Funding from the account will be used by the Montana Department of Livestock to contract for wolf management with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services for flight time, collaring and lethal control of wolves.

Volunteers lead Alpine Bird BioBlitz

To celebrate the amazing birds of Glacier's alpine areas, the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center and park wildlife staff are hosting the second Alpine Bird BioBlitz on Friday, July 19.

Participants will work alongside expert birders to collect important data on the presence and abundance of 12 of Glacier’s alpine bird species, some of which are species of concern. Species of concern are those that may be declining or are in need of conservation or monitoring to understand more about their status.

The Alpine Bird BioBlitz will occur at various designated locations accessible by hiking. Participants should be able to hike moderate to strenuous trails and have some prior birding experience.

Start time for most hiking destinations will be as early as 5:30 a.m. Early morning starts are necessary to ensure bird detections. End times will vary, with some hikes lasting into the late afternoon.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit https://www.nps.gov/rlc/crown/bioblitz.htm.

For more information, contact CCRLC at 406-888-7986 or email glac_citizen_science@nps.gov.

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