December 27, 2018

Your NEW land on the Madison River 

The foundation has had its VERY best year yet and is ending on a high note. We have exciting news to share- the public is receiving a gift of conservation this season with the addition of 300 acres of land along the Madison River to Bureau of Land Management ownership that will allow for great new walk-in wade access to anglers.

The project happened because of a lot of people working together and a landowner that deeply believes in conservation. As Cornie Hudson, BLM Dillon Field Office Manager said, “This is another great example of how working with our partners — Roger Lang, TNC and the Madison River Foundation — can bring about a lasting benefit to the public.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Madison River Foundation provided funding to the Bureau of Land Management to purchase land that The Nature Conservancy and Roger Lang, MRF lifetime member, jointly owned. 

The property, which lies between Highway 287 and BLM land alongside the river  is adjacent to private land that is protected by conservation easements and contiguous with a large block of public land (BLM and Fish, Wildlife & Parks) that includes the Wall Creek Wildlife Management Area.  See image below. 

This is an incredible accomplishment and example of what can happen when we work together to ensure the enhancement of the Madison River for years to come, though it very well could be the last if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Created by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources, and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. It is a simple idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource - offshore oil and gas - to support the conservation of another precious resource - our land and water. Every year, $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are put into this fund. 

LWCF has been expired for nearly 3 months --- since expiring we have lost over $215 million to date. 

We need LWCF to be permanently reauthorized, NOW. Projects like this one could not have been possible without LWCF.  There are LWCF projects in communities all across the country. We encourage you to call your representatives TODAY and tell them that LWCF is extremely important to you and to support the permanent reauthorization of LWCF.  You can call 202-224-3121 and they will direct you to your representatives. 

It is because of your generosity we are able to accomplish and advocate for projects like this. Please consider a year end donation to help us continue preserving, protecting, and enhancing the Madison River. 

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Madison River Negotiated Rule Making Committee 
 

On December 10, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on the members of the committee that will work to make a recommendation to the commission on regulations for the Madison River. The foundation's executive director, Lauren Wittorp, was selected to be on the committee. We will keep the membership actively informed as we learn more.

  • What happens now?

    • The committee will meet starting in January for a couple of months. The committee will then make a recommendation to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission in April which will vote whether or not to send it out for public comment. At that point, if voted to go to public comment, the public would be able to make comment before the commission would vote to enact it. The hope is for it to take effect in 2020. 

  • What is the committee going to work on?

    • The committee will work to provide suggestions for river recreation management regulations. 

  • How do I get involved?

    • The foundation will be hosting a townhall style event for the membership in late January after the first committee meeting-- when we know more on how the committee will work and what the scope of work will be. 

  • Who is on the committee?

    • • Lauren Wittorp, Ennis, executive director of Madison River Foundation
      •  Michael Bias, Twin Bridges, fishing outfitter and executive director of Fishing Outfitters of Montana
      • Julie Eaton, Bozeman, fishing outfitter
      • Scott Vollmer, Gallatin Gateway, fishing outfitter
      • Melissa Glaser, Ennis, Madison River scenic tour operator
      • Jim Slatterly, West Yellowstone, Campfire Lodge owner
      • Mark Odegard, Ennis, Madison River wade angler
      • Charlotte Cleveland, Bozeman, Madison River float angler
      • Don Skaar, Helena, FWP, Fisheries Division
      • Tim Aldrich, Missoula, Fish and Wildlife Commission