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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

Update: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as part of its ongoing efforts to plan for the future of the National Bison Range, announces the availability of the national wildlife refuge’s final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and final Record of Decision (ROD). The final CCP will guide future management of the National Bison Range for the next 15 years. More information: Press Release: National Bison Range Releases Final Record of Decision to Guide Future Management and Continue Conservation Legacy

Timeline and Next Steps: Following the Federal Register notice published on December 18, 2019 announcing the availability of the final CCP and final ROD, the Service will begin implementing the final CCP, which will guide National Bison Range management over the next 15 years.

Federal Register Notice: National Bison Range, MT; Availability of the Final Record of Decision for the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement


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

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

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In-Progress Plan Status: National Bison Range »

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)

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, 2018 – April 30, 2019
(COMPLETED)

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.


May 1 – October 30, 2019
(COMPLETED)

Carry out Public Review and Comment, Analysis, and Response; Identify the Preferred Alternative and Prepare Final CCP and NEPA Document.


November 1, 2019 - December 2019
(COMPLETED)

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).


December 2019 onward

  • Implement Plan, Monitor, and Evaluate.
  • 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.

 

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

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)

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.
  • 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.

 

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Public Involvement »

2019 Public Involvement Opportunities

The Service held three public meetings on the draft CCP/EIS, to meet with Service personnel, learn more about the CCP/EIS process, and provide input. These meetings were held in an open-house format. Information about each meeting is detailed below:

Date: April 30, 2019
Missoula Public Library
Missoula, MT 59802

Date: May 1, 2019
Red Lion Inn
Polson, MT 59860

Date: May 2, 2019
National Bison Range Visitor Center
Charlo, MT 59824


2018 Public Involvement Opportunities

The Service held two evening open-house public meetings that included brief presentations at 6:00 p.m. on the planning process and on draft documents.

Date: May 9, 2018
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Office
Kalispell, MT 59901

Date: May 10, 2018
Leon Hall
Charlo, MT  59824

In addition to these evening open-house meetings, the Service also hosted all-day, open-house events at the headquarters of the National Bison Range and Lost Trail NWR.

Date: May 11, 2018
National Bison Range Headquarters
Charlo, MT 59824

Date: May 8, 2018
Lost Trail Refuge Headquarters
Marion, Montana 59925

Meeting Documents and Resources


2017 Public Scoping Meetings

During the public scoping period, the Service 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.

Date: June 6, 2017
Red Lion Ridgewater Inn
Polson, MT 59860

Date: June 7, 2017
Kalispell Public Library
Kalispell, MT 59901

Date: August 30, 2017
North Lake County Public Library
Polson, MT 59860

Dfate: August 30, 2017
Missoula Public Library
Missoula, MT 59802

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Refuge Descriptions »

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.

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Contacts »

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
Email: vanessa_fields@fws.gov
Telephone: (406) 727-7400 x 219 telephone
Fax: (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
Email: bernardo_garza@fws.gov
Telephone: (303) 236-4377
Fax: (303) 236-4792

 

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

National Bison Range email
bisonrange@fws.gov

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

National Bison Range telephone
(406) 644-2211

National Bison Range Website
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/national_bison_range

Click to subscribe to the NBR Planning Newsletter


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: February 24, 2020
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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