On Tuesday, November 8, Travis Horton, FWP Region 3 Fisheries Manager, sent an email announcing that the department has decided to proceed with the recreation management planning process for the Madison river.
Noting that “a planning process is warranted, and sufficient staff time and funding exists at the current time to complete the process,” Horton said the region will outline steps in the process and build a timeline, all to be sent out in press releases and other outreach avenues in December.
If you’ve read previous post on this topic, you’ve probably read the rules governing this planning process. I expect FWP Region 3 to recruit volunteers for the planning committee from various interest and user groups, then submit these committee member recommendations to the FWP director for ratification. Next, the department should publish a tentative timetable of meetings scheduled at a common locale in the region, probably Ennis.
The only planning process subject to these rules was the RRAFT (River Recreation Advisory For Tomorrow) group meeting to discuss the Blackfoot river in Missoula. After two years of meetings, the committee settled on recommendations for that river. You can download those recommendation documents from our site: Blackfoot Decision Notice or the Blackfoot Recreation Management Plan itself. Alternately, you can check out FWP’s records of the meetings at FWP Blackfoot Planning. (Be aware that the PDF’s there are best downloaded with IE9 or Safari – I had trouble using Firefox 7.)
The Big Hole / Beaverhead process came long before these current planning rules; in fact, the disorder, disagreement, contention, and difficulties of that management process lead directly to the development of the River Recreation Management Planning rules that were used in Missoula and will be applied to the Madison.
More on all this in future posts.