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Briefs for March 27, 2019

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Funding application deadline for easement program approaches

BOZEMAN — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana is accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Wetlands Reserve Easements.

While NRCS accepts easement applications on a continuous basis, NRCS has set a deadline of April 19, 2019, to apply for 2019 funding.

“Easements are sometimes a perfect fit for a landowner who is looking to protect his or her land from future development or to protect and improve wetlands or provide critical habitat for wildlife,” said Erik Suffridge, NRCS assistant state conservationist for easement programs in Montana.

Wetlands reserve easements allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts.

To learn about ACEP and other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov.

 

Governor announces Grizzly Bear advisory council

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock announced that he will establish a Grizzly Bear advisory council to help initiate a statewide discussion on grizzly bear management, conservation and recovery. The council will be selected through an application process that ends April 12.

Grizzly bear populations continue to expand, in some cases into areas they have not occupied for decades. Management challenges and conflicts have increased. FWP, along with partner agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and the FWS, work together to respond to conflicts as they occur. 

Developing strategies to ensure a timely and appropriate response to these conflicts and addressing the needs of communities and landowners most impacted in these areas are key priorities identified for the advisory council’s deliberations. 

Governor Bullock is looking for a broad cross-section of interests to serve on the council, including livestock producers, wildlife enthusiasts, conservation groups, hunters, community leaders, Tribal Nation representatives and outdoor industry professionals.

Council application information can be found online at: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/grizzlyBear/default.html. 

 

Ronan holds Kindergarten Round Up

RONAN — Ronan School District No.30 is conducting their annual Kindergarten Round Up pre-registration for Ronan-Pablo residents. Registration continues to pre-enroll for both elementary schools for the upcoming 2019/2020 school year, but will be held at a new location: K. Wm. Harvey Elementary School on Thursday, April 25, from 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 

To be eligible for kindergarten, a student must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 10, 2019. Parents are asked to bring the child's birth certificate, immunization record and Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) for their child at registration. Children who will be registering will be screened in hearing, speech, vision and school readiness skills. For your convenience, immunizations will be provided, as needed, at the time of immunization verification at the Kindergarten Round Up. Please bring your child’s Healthy MT Kids/Medicaid or other health insurance card(s) if this service is required. Registration and screening should be completed in approximately one hour, so please plan accordingly. 

For more information contact the Special Services office at 406-676-3390 X7450.  

 

Educators invited to bird workshop

KALISPELL — Teachers, youth group leaders, and other educators are invited to attend a free workshop on bird conservation education on Tuesday, April 16, from 4-7 p.m. at Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell. Space is limited and interested participants should reserve a spot with Dillon Tabish at 406-751-4564 or dillon.tabish@mt.gov.

Led by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff with the Flying WILD program, this informative and fun training is designed to provide K-12 educators with instructional tools and resources to assist in teaching youth about Montana’s avian fauna. 

Participants will be engaged in standards-based learning that incorporates science, math, and reading literacy skills. The workshop will introduce participants to the new Montana E-bird website and everyone will receive a copy of the Flying WILD teacher guide. Teachers will be eligible for three hours of OPI continuing education credits.

FWP received a generous donation from the Jean Smith estate that is helping enhance bird conservation education across the state. The donation funded the development of birding trunks that were distributed statewide. Each trunk contains 20 pairs of binoculars. The trunks also contain copies of “Sibley’s Birds West” and “Flying WILD, An Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds.” 

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