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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228


4-09 February 5, 2004

Contact: Tim Bodurtha 406-758-6868
Sharon Rose 303-236-4580


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking input at three public scoping meetings in early February to identify issues and determine the appropriate course of action for issuance of an incidental take permit for grizzly bears to the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad. The need for a permit results from accidental train collisions with grizzly bears by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad along an 85-mile area of the Middle Fork Flathead River Corridor. Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad proposes a habitat conservation plan to offset the grizzly bear mortalities incurred on the railroad.

The meetings to discuss the process and the issues in the Middle Fork Flathead River Corridor involved in the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad’s proposed habitat conservation plan will be held in three locations in Montana next week. These include:

Kalispell - Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Region 1 Headquarters
490 North Meridian Road
4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Essex - Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Middlefork Quick Response Building
Highway 2
4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Browning - Thursday, February 12, 2004

Blackfeet Tribal Complex
Government Square
Tribal Conference Room
4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

In addition to the public meetings, comments and suggestions can be mailed directly to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attention: Burlington Northern/Grizzlies, 780 Creston Hatchery Road, Kalispell, MT 59901. Comments and suggestions should be postmarked by March 31, 2004. Information will also be available on the following website

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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