State seeking input of Quiet Waters Initiative

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold public comment meetings around the state in January on proposed rules to limit motorized water craft use on some of the state’s water bodies.

The proposed rules address a petition, known as the Quiet Waters Initiative, submitted to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission this past spring by Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. The petition states Montana has experienced advanced motorized technology on its waterways, which has potentially opened up waters previously thought to be unusable by motorized water craft.

At its regular May meeting, the commission initiated rule making on the petition, stating, in part, that the commission should consider being proactive instead of reactive to the changes in recreation on Montana’s waterways to avoid conflicts and protect traditional and safe recreational uses.

Public hearings on the Quiet Waters Petition will be held at the following times and locations:

Jan. 3 at the FWP Region 1 office, 490 N. Meridian Road, Kalispell at 6 p.m.

Jan. 4 at the FWP Region 2 office, 3201 Spurgin Road, Missoula at 6 p.m.

Jan. 5 at the FWP Region 3 office, 1400 S. 19th Ave., Bozeman at 6 p.m.

Jan. 9 at the FWP Region 5 office, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings at 6 p.m.

Jan. 11 at the FWP Region 4 office, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls at 6 p.m.

Jan. 11 at the FWP headquarters office, 1420 E. 6th Ave., Helena at 6 p.m.

For a complete list of waters considered in the petition, please go online to fwp.mt.gov. Click on the News tab and then click again on “Rules” under “Recent Public Notices.”

The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rule making process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than Dec. 9, 2016, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kaedy Gangstad, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; telephone (406) 444-4594; or e-mail kgangstad@mt.gov.

Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Attn: Quiet Waters Petition, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or e-mail QuietWaters@mt.gov, and must be received no later than Jan. 13, 2017.

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