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Comprehensive Conservation Plan

National Bison Range Complex—Montana

Public involvement | Refuge descriptions | Contacts | Documents | Press Releases and Newsletters | 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:

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.

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In-Progress Plan Status: National Bison Range »

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Please Note: As of June 2018, the timeline below applies only to the National Bison Range CCP process. For the CCP timeline for the other five units in the National Bison Range Complex (Pablo, Lost Trail and Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuges, as well as the Northwest Montana Wetland Management Districts) click here.

For frequently asked questions and answers regarding the updated National Bison Range CCP timeline click here

April 15, 2017 – February 28, 2018 (COMPLETED)
Preplanning

Form a Planning Team; Identify Refuge Purpose(s), History, Establishing Authorities, Compliance Requirements, Special Designations, Planning Area and Data Needs and Standards, Available Information, Plans, Data, Maps, and Data Standards; Develop Purpose and Need, Vision and Goals, Public Involvement and Outreach Planning, the Work Plan, and the Planning Schedule; Carry Out Internal Scoping; and Begin the Planning Record.


April 15 – September 30, 2017 (COMPLETED)

Publish the Notice of Intent in Federal Register; Carry Out Public Involvement and Scoping; Issues and Data Needs. See the “Documents” tab below to view or download these scoping documents..


September 30 – December 31, 2017 (COMPLETED)

Review Vision Statement and Goals and Determine Significant Issues; Determine Significant Issues.


January 1 – August 24, 2018 (COMPLETED)

Define the No Action Alternative; Develop and Analyze Range of Management Alternatives; Develop Objectives and Strategies; Assess Environmental Consequences; Recommend a Proposed Action.


August 25 – January 31, 2019 (ONGOING)

Prepare Draft Plans and NEPA Documents, Including Compatibility Determinations; Prepare and Publish a Public Notice of Availability in the Federal Register; Release Draft Plans and NEPA Documents for Public Review and Comment.


February 1 – April 26, 2019

Carry out Public Review and Comment, Analysis, and Response; Identify the Preferred Alternative and Prepare Final CCP and NEPA Document; Prepare and Release Decision Documents; Prepare and Adopt Final Plan Prepare and Publish a Notice of Availability in Federal Register of the final approved CCP and NEPA document(s).


April 26, 2019 onward

Implement Plan, Monitor, and Evaluate.


April 26, 2019 onward

Review and Revise Plan; Continue informing and involving the public through appropriate means.

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

 


In-Progress Plan Status: Pablo, Lost Trail and Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuges; Northwest Montana Wetland Management Districts »

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Please Note: As of June 2018, the timeline below applies only to the CCP process for Pablo, Lost Trail and Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuges, as well as the Northwest Montana Wetland Management Districts. For the National Bison Range CCP timeline click here.

April 15, 2017 – February 28, 2018 (COMPLETED)
Preplanning

Form a Planning Team; Identify Refuge Purpose(s), History, Establishing Authorities, Compliance Requirements, Special Designations, Planning Area and Data Needs and Standards, Available Information, Plans, Data, Maps, and Data Standards; Develop Purpose and Need, Vision and Goals, Public Involvement and Outreach Planning, the Work Plan, and the Planning Schedule; Carry Out Internal Scoping; and Begin the Planning Record.


April 15 – September 30, 2017 (COMPLETED)

Publish the Notice of Intent in Federal Register; Carry Out Public Involvement and Scoping; Issues and Data Needs. See the “Documents” tab below to view or download these scoping documents.


September 30 – December 31, 2017 (COMPLETED)

Review Vision Statement and Goals and Determine Significant Issues; Determine Significant Issues.


January 1 – December 31, 2018 (ONGOING)

Define the No Action Alternative; Develop and Analyze Range of Management Alternatives; Assess Environmental Consequences; Recommend a Proposed Action; Develop Objectives and Strategies.


January 1 – March 30, 2019

Prepare Draft Plans and NEPA Documents, Including Compatibility Determinations; Prepare and Publish a Public Notice of Availability in the Federal Register; Release Draft Plans and NEPA Documents for Public Review and Comment.


April 1, 2019 – March 15, 2020

Carry out Public Review and Comment, Analysis, and Response; Identify the Preferred Alternative and Prepare Final CCP and NEPA Document; Prepare and Release Decision Documents; Prepare and Adopt Final Plan Prepare and Publish a Notice of Availability in FR of the final approved CCP and NEPA document(s).


March 16, 2020 onward

Implement Plan, Monitor, and Evaluate.


March 16, 2020 onward

Review and Revise Plan; Continue informing and involving the public through appropriate means.

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

 


Public involvement »

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2018 Public Involvement Opportunities

We are pleased to announce the release of a draft vision, a draft set of goals, and a draft range of management alternatives for the CCPs for all the units of the National Bison Range Complex for public review and comment (see the “Documents” tab below to view or download these draft documents). We are seeking the input of the public, our conservation partners, and tribal, state, and local governments. During this public comment period, we invite you to provide us your comments and to attend any of the four public meetings that the Planning Team will hold to welcome your comments and answer your questions in person. If unable to attend any of these meetings, you may provide your comments in writing via postal service or email at one of the addresses listed under the “Contacts” tab below. We will evaluate all comments received during this public comment period and all substantial comments will be used to improve the draft vision, goals, and alternatives prior to the development of the draft CCPs and their NEPA documents.

2018 Draft Alternatives Public Meetings

We will host two evening open-house public meetings that will include brief presentations at 6:00 p.m. on the planning process and on draft documents for which we are seeking comments.

Date: May 9, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Office
Address: 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell, MT 59901
Venue Phone: (406) 752-5501

Date: May 10, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Leon Hall
Address: 984 Leon Road, Charlo, MT  59824 (NE corner of Leon Road and Kerns Road)
Venue Phone: (406) 644-2145

In addition to these evening open-house meetings, we will also host all-day, open-house events at the headquarters of the National Bison Range and of the Lost Trail NWR. We invite the public to stop by the these refuges at any time during normal business hours to meet with members of the Planning Team, learn more about the units of the Complex, about the planning process, and provide your input.

Date: May 11, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: National Bison Range Headquarters
Address: 58355 Bison Range Rd., Charlo, MT 59824
Venue Phone:  (406) 644-2211

Date: May 8, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Lost Trail Refuge Headquarters
Address: 6295 Pleasant Valley Rd., Marion, Montana 59925
Venue Phone: (406) 858-2216

Meeting Documents and Resources

Summary of public meetings for the National Bison Range Complex
USFWS Public Meeting Presentation on Draft Vision, Goals and Alternatives (PowerPoint PDF)


2017 Public Scoping Meetings
During the public scoping period we hosted the following meetings to provide information on the management and resources of the units of the National Bison Range Complex and the planning process. We also welcomed all the comments that the public provided for our consideration in the development of the CCPs and their NEPA analysis.

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

CCP Mailing List Request
Download the following PDF and follow the intrusctions to be added to our NBRC CCP mailing list.
NBRC Mailing List Request Form

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 »


Press Releases and Newsletters »


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: December 12, 2018
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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