The Big Dry Arm Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve March Morning on the Platte River After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
Refuge System - Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region
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Comprehensive Conservation Plan

National Bison Range Complex—Montana

Public involvement | Refuge discriptions | Contacts | Documents | Open / close all

Close up image of a bison bull. Credit: Dave Fitzpatrick / USFWS

Close up image of a bison bull. Credit: Dave Fitzpatrick / USFWS

The Service is developing comprehensive conservation plans (CCP) for the National Bison Range Complex (Complex), which includes:

  • Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge
  • National Bison Range
  • Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge
  • Northwest Montana Wetland Management District – Flathead County
  • Northwest Montana Wetland Management District – Lake County
  • Pablo National Wildlife Refuge

One CCP and an environmental impact statement will be developed for the National Bison Range. One CCP and an environmental assessment will be developed for all the other units of the Complex.  The Complex manages public lands in three counties in northwest Montana and the CCPs will set the management and use of all the units of the Complex for 15 years.

In-Progress Plan Status


Spring 2017

Start Planning
Notice of Intent in Federal Register
Gather public input


Summer - Fall 2017

Meet with cooperating agencies
Develop vision and goals


Winter 2017 - Spring 2018

Develop management alternatives


Spring 2018

Release draft alternatives and solicit public input


Summer – Winter 2018

Prepare draft plans and NEPA analysis


Spring 2019

Release draft plans and NEPA analysis for public review
Notice of availability in Federal Register


Summer 2019

Analyze public comments


Spring 2020

Complete final plans and environmental compliance documents
Notices of availability in Federal Register

Information about the planning process is in Planning Overview. Terms are in the Glossary.


Public involvement »

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The following are the open house public scoping meetings we will host to provide information on the management and resources of the units of the National Bison Range Complex and the planning process. We will also welcome any comments that the public may want to provide for consideration in the development of the CCPs and their NEPA analysis.

Public Meetings

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Red Lion Ridgewater Inn
Echo Room
209 Ridgewater Drive
Polson, MT 59860
406 / 872 2200

 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Kalispell Public Library
Community Meeting Room
247 1st Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901
406  / 758 5820

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 9:30 p.m. to 12:00 p.m.
North Lake County Public Library
Meeting Room
21st Avenue
Polson, MT 59860
406 / 883 8225

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Missoula Public Library (Main Branch)
Large Meeting Room
301 East Main Street
Missoula, MT 59802
406  / 721 2665



Refuge descriptions »

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Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1999
  • Located approximately 20 miles east of Kalispell, Montana

Lost Trail was established by Administrative Order under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the Fish and Wildlife Act, the Refuge Recreation Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the Endangered Species Act. The purposes of the refuge are for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds; for the development,  advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources; for the incidental fish and wildlife-oriented recreational development, the protection of natural resources, the conservation of endangered species or threatened species; and for the conservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife. Parts of the refuge are mitigative properties in lieu of losses to Flathead WPA from operations of Kerr Dam. The purpose of those parts is to protect and maintain wetland habitat for migratory birds, other animals, and plants.

National Bison Range

  • Established on May 23, 1908
  • Located one mile south of Moiese, Montana

Established by Public law 60-136 from unallotted lands within the Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana for bison presented to the United States by the American Bison Society. Since that time, the refuge has played an important role in national bison conservation efforts. Executive Order 3596 (Dec. 22, 1921) also reserved the area as a refuge for migratory birds.

Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1921
  • Located 5 miles south of Ronan, Montana

Lands within this refuge’s boundary were first withdrawn in 1910 for an irrigation reservoir as part of the Flathead Irrigation Project. Executive Order 3503 established this refuge on this withdrawal, subject to reservoir uses. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes requested the establishment of Ninepipe NWR and the refuge is located on tribal Trust lands. The Tribes manage the fishery resources in the Ninepipe Reservoir. The refuge is an important breeding and staging area for a large portion of the Flathead Valley Canada goose population, as well as for colonies of western grebe, double-crested cormorant, and great blue herons, and for a variety of ducks, and numerous species of other marsh and water birds. The Tribes manage the fishery resources in the reservoir.

Northwest Montana Wetland Management District – Flathead County

  • Established in the 1960s
  • Located on the north shore of Flathead Lake, approximately 10 miles south of Kalispell, Montana

Established to manage lands purchased under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect wetland and grassland habitat that is critical to our nation’s waterfowl population. Major objectives include wetland preservation, waterfowl and wildlife production, and maintenance of breeding grounds for migratory birds. The district also provides a northern staging area and habitat for migration. This district manages five waterfowl production in the Flathead Valley of Montana.

Northwest Montana Wetland Management District – Lake County

  • Established in the 1960s
  • Located around the town of Charlo, in Lake County, Montana

Established to manage lands purchased under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect wetland and grassland habitat that is critical to our nation’s waterfowl population. Major objectives include wetland preservation, waterfowl and wildlife production, and maintenance of breeding grounds for migratory birds. The district also provides a northern staging area and habitat for migration. This district manages nine waterfowl production areas and approximately 6,300 acres of conservation easements within the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Mission Valley of Montana.

Pablo National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1921
  • Located one mile northwest of Pablo, Montana

Lands within this refuge’s boundary were first withdrawn in 1910 for an irrigation reservoir as part of the Flathead Irrigation Project. Executive Order 3503 established this refuge on this withdrawal, subject to reservoir uses. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes requested the establishment of Pablo NWR and the refuge is located on tribal Trust lands. The Tribes manage the fishery resources in the Ninepipe Reservoir. Today, the refuge is an important area for the reintroduction of trumpeter swans to the Mission Valley, as well as for a variety of ducks, and numerous species of other marsh and water birds. The Tribes manage the fishery resources in the reservoir.


Contacts »

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Planning team leader – National Bison Range
Vanessa Fields
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Scientific Resources
922 Bootleger Trail
Great Falls, Montana 59404
vanessa_fields@fws.gov
406 / 727 7400 x 219 telephone
406 / 727 7432

 

Planning team leader – Lost Trail, Ninepipe, and Pablo National Wildlife Refuges, and Northwest Montana Wetland Management Districts
Bernardo Garza
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Branch of Planning and Policy
134 Union Boulevard, Suite 300
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
bernardo_garza@fws.gov
303 / 236 4377 telephone
303 / 236 4792 fax

National Bison Range CCP email
scoping_NBR@fws.gov

Lost Trail, Ninepipe, and Pablo NWRs – NW Montana WMDs CCP email
scoping_pablo_ninepipe@fws.gov

Refuge email
bisonrange@fws.gov

Refuge Complex headquarters address
58355 Bison Range Road
Moiese, MT 59824

Refuge telephone
406 / 644 2211

Refuge Web site
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/national_bison_range/

 


Documents »

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: January 30, 2018
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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