Posted: Sep 20, 2010 3:42 PM by Dennis Bragg
Updated: Sep 20, 2010 4:20 PM
PABLO - The State of Montana and the are looking at an agreement that could extend the rights of non-tribal members to fish and bird hunt on the tribes' massive reservation indefinitely.
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced that it's seeking public comments on the new agreement which is in the process of being finalized.
Back in 1990, the CSKT Tribal Council and former Attorney General Mark Racicot worked out an agreement that maintains public access to public bird hunting and fishing on the reservation. That original agreement has been renewed in 4-year increments ever since and is up for renewal again this year.
Now, the tribes and state are looking at a new agreement which would run indefinitely, with either party having the option to pull out with a 120-day notice.
The new proposal will be discussed in a public hearing at 7 p.m. October 14th at the Polson Public Library.
According to Region One FWP Supervisor Jim Satterfield, the agreement has maintained access to public bird hunting and fishing and has forged closer cooperation between FWP and Tribal fish and wildlife biologists.
The joint licensing agreement has also simplified regulations and made them more consistent. Tom McDonald, Division Manager for Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation for CSKT said that funds generated from license sales have gone for a number of improvements for fish and wildlife habitat and management.