Montana Administrative Register Notice 12-609 No. 15   08/04/2023    
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              BEFORE THE Department of FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS

                                       OF THE STATE OF MONTANA


In the matter of the adoption of an emergency rule partially closing the Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area in Missoula County







          TO: All Concerned Persons


1. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (department) has determined the following reasons justify the adoption of an emergency rule:

(a) The Colt Lake fire has grown extensively over the past 48 hours and has reached the northern edge of the Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  On July 24, 2023, the department received a request from fire incident command to close the north end of the WMA, as shown on Attachment A.  The fire is expected to continue to grow and could move further south.



           (b) In order to protect the public from any injuries resulting from the Colt Lake fire, a portion of the Marshall Creek WMA is closed.

(c) Therefore, as this situation constitutes an imminent peril to public health, safety, and welfare, and this threat cannot be averted or remedied by any other administrative act, the department adopts the following emergency rule.  The emergency rule will be sent as a press release to newspapers throughout the state. Also, signs informing the public of the partial closure will be posted at access points.  The rule will be sent to interested parties and published as an emergency rule in Issue No. 15 of the 2023 Montana Administrative Register.


2. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the rulemaking process and need an alternative accessible format of the notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 18, 2023, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Christina Bell, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; telephone (406) 444-4594; or e-mail cbell@mt.gov.


3. The emergency rule is effective July 25, 2023, when this rule notice is filed with the Secretary of State.


4. The text of the emergency rule provides as follows:


          NEW RULE I PARTIAL CLOSURE OF THE MARSHALL CREEK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA (1) The Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area is located in Missoula County.

          (2) The Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area is partially closed.

          (3) This rule will expire as soon as the department determines the fire conditions improve and no longer present a risk to public health and safety.  This will depend on weather conditions and the extent of the fire damage.  Signs partially closing the Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area will be removed when the rule is no longer effective.


          AUTH: 2-4-303, 87-1-202, MCA

          IMP: 2-4-303, 87-1-202, MCA


          5. The rationale for the emergency rule is set forth in paragraph 1.


6. Concerned persons are encouraged to submit their comments to the department. Please submit comments along with names and addresses to: Christina Bell, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT, 59602-0701; e-mail cbell@mt.gov. Any comments must be received no later than September 1, 2023.


7. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notice of rulemaking actions proposed by the department or commission. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make written request that includes the name and mailing address of the person to receive the notice and specifies the subject or subjects about which the person wishes to receive notice. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Legal Unit, P.O. Box 200701, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, Helena, MT 59620-0701, faxed to the office at (406) 444-7456, or may be made by completing the request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. The special notice requirements of 2-4-303, MCA have been met. All committee members and staff of the Environmental Quality Council, with addresses provided on the Montana Legislature's website (leg.mt.gov), were contacted by e-mail on July 25, 2023.



/s/ Dustin Temple

Dustin Temple


Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks


/s/ Kevin Rechkoff

Kevin Rechkoff

Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State July 25, 2023.



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