KALISPELL — The new Northwest Lion Ecoregional Population Objective Committee is convening for the first time Jan. 5-6, 2022 to discuss the management of mountain lions in northwest Montana.
The committee will meet virtually via Zoom from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. The public is invited to participate in the meeting and provide input. Meeting information is available online at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/nw-mountain-lion-workgroup.
This new committee consists of 10 citizens representing a broad spectrum of mountain lion stakeholders who reside within or close to the ecoregion. The committee will meet twice to deliberate and make recommendations that Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks can carry forward to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The committee will work with FWP to define a planning strategy to manage the northwestern mountain lion ecoregional population for sustainability at a target level that maximizes public satisfaction related to lion hunter opportunity, lion conflict, and ungulate population trends.
The committee will specifically focus on developing recommendations regarding:
Target population trend (Increase, Decrease, Stable)
Degree of ecoregional population size change (% up or % down)
Lion Management Unit (LMU) emphases (e.g., older-age class harvest, conflict reduction, aid ungulates, more opportunity, or others)
The committee is not charged with recommending season structures, license types, or specific allocation of quotas among Lion Management Units (LMUs).
In 2019, the Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the new Mountain Lion Monitoring and Management Strategy. This strategy outlines the scientific basis for conserving, monitoring and managing harvest of mountain lions in Montana. An integral part of implementing this new strategy is the formulation of a committee in each of the three western ecoregions, beginning with the northwest ecoregion.
For more information, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/nw-mountain-lion-workgroup.