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Megan Blake with the Lewistown Jaycees is campaigning for a good turnout Sunday for Punt Pass and Kick competitors.  But there is a correction to note.

Lewistown has a variety of dedicated playing fields.

Locally, soccer is attracting a lot of attention of their. The subject was discussed at the recent City Commission’s Committee of the Whole meeting.  According to City Manager Holly Phelps.

There’s a small group in Lewistown that likes competition and whose ages begin in the mid-fifties. According to this report from Sue Thomas who heads up the Senior Pool League:

People and their phobias.

While walking the other day with a friend in a newly mown field – a backyard really – a slender eastern racer snake probably two feet long crossed in front of us.

My friend, born and raised in Glendive, Mont., and tough as railroad spikes, jumped about three feet in the air and let out a scream heard in the next ZIP code.

Everyone has their fears, phobias and hatreds when it comes to the natural world. Take your pick: from big grizzly bears down to swift snakes and itsy-bitsy spiders.

Young football fans will have the opportunity to exhibit their football skills when the Central Montana Jaycees hosts an NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick competition on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at the FHS Golden Eagle Stadium in Lewistown.  The competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 6-15 (age as of December 31, 2016).  Registration will start at noon and the competition will begin at 1:00 PM.

For competition information, please call Megan Blake at 535-5551.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has thrown their support behind federal legislation introduced this summer that would provide a significant boost in funding to fish and wildlife conservation in Montana.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, (HR 5650) was introduced in the House in July by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D- Mich.) and it calls for dedication of $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies. The money would be collected from existing revenues and fees on the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters. Under the bill, the federal allocation would require a 25 percent match from each state.

The refuge hunt area will be open for the special youth only waterfowl and pheasant hunt on September 24th and 25th; general season waterfowl, sharp-tailed grouse, and gray partridge (Huns) on October 1st;  and pheasant on October 8th; however, hunters will notice some significant differences for the 2016 season.  Due to extremely low water conditions, Unit 4B is the only unit with sufficient water to support a waterfowl hunt.  Traditionally, Units 4C, 5 and 6 have been the only units open for hunting and Unit 4B has served as a sanctuary unit.  Because of the short irrigation season and dry conditions over the summer, the refuge did not have sufficient water to flood any of the traditional units and instead, chose to flood and open 4B for waterfowl hunting only.  The remaining units, 4C, 5, and 6, will be open for upland game bird hunting until the refuge closes to all hunting on November 30.

Unit 4B is only 393 acres and about one-third the size of what hunters have had open for waterfowl hunting the last two seasons, so it will be extremely important for participants to respect their fellow hunters and leave sufficient space between hunting sites.  In the past, we have observed 15-20 waterfowl hunting parties on opening day and about half that number on the second weekend of the season.  For safety reasons, we feel that the unit can safely support up to five hunting parties and are hopeful that hunters will seek other opportunities such as the Missouri River or Freezeout Lake WMA when this number is reached.  Cover is very limited in Unit 4B and depending on hunter interest we may institute a drawing to limit the number of hunters in the unit.  

The refuge is having an open house on Thursday, September 22, 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. at the Benton Lake Visitor Center to discuss the 2016 season and to consider alternative options to regulate hunter density.  

Access to Unit 4B will be allowed via the Lower Marsh Road and a special parking area will be located adjacent to the Unit 4B water control structure.  This new structure was the result of a collaborative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana FWP, and Ducks Unlimited, and besides providing the opportunity to maintain a limited waterfowl hunt for the 2016 season, will enhance refuge water management capability in future years.  The Unit 4B levee and the Lower Marsh Road will be closed to vehicle travel at the structure, but may be used for walking access and blind locations for 2016 only.  There is limited cover in the unit so hunters are encouraged to bring portable blinds or other means of concealment to improve hunt quality.

Additionally, the auto tour loop around Unit 2 will remain open for wildlife observation during the hunting season.  For safety reasons, a no-shooting zone has been established approximately 200 yards from the auto tour loop into Unit 4B and no weapons will be allowed in this zone.  Hunting access is not allowed from the auto tour loop.  Hunters may retrieve game within the safety zone but may not possess firearms while retrieving downed game.  Hunters may not cross the auto tour and enter Unit 2 to retrieve downed game.  The interunit canal adjacent to the Lower Marsh Road will remain closed to hunting or retrieval of downed game as in past years.  Ideally, hunters will use shot discretion to minimize waterfowl crippling but we realize that even under the best conditions, crippling can occur; we would rather have you safely retrieve any downed game and reduce it to possession.

Hunting regulations and maps are available in the refuge office from 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and at the refuge entrance road kiosk.  We encourage waterfowl hunters, in particular, to contact the refuge for any updates as we get closer to the season opener.

For more information, please contact Bob Johnson, Deputy Refuge Manager at 406-727-7400 x226.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.  It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations.  The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.  It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

-FWS-

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov

 

A star-studded coalition of scientists, authors, movie stars and conservationists has launched a media campaign and petition to convince President Barack Obama to take executive action, overruling an agency proposal to take the Yellowstone grizzly bear off the Endangered Species list.

Esteemed scientists Jane Goodall, George B. Schaller, Michael Soulé, and Edward O. Wilson joined with actors Jeff Bridges, Harrison Ford and Michael Keaton, authors Carl Hiaasen, Scott Momaday, Terry Tempest Williams, Douglas Brinkley, Thomas McGuane and Doug Peacock, along with businessmen Yvon Chouinard and Ted Turner, and former Yellowstone park superintendent Michael Finley, sending a plea to the president following an announcement by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service last spring of its intention to remove federal protections of the bear.