Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, to aid in the implementation of the Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Stewardship Act and as used in these rules:
(1) "Agency" for the purposes of the act means a department, agency, or instrumentality of the state of Montana; a political subdivision of the state; or a tribe. "Agency" is not a private individual, private entity, or private organization recognized by the laws of the state of Montana.
(2) "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
(3) "HQT" means Habitat Quantification Tool, a geo-spatial based application designed to implement 76-22-103(9), MCA, as documented in the Montana Mitigation System Habitat Quantification Tool Technical Manual for Greater Sage-Grouse.
(4) "Invasive weed" means a grass, forb, shrub, or tree (weed) listed on the Montana Invasive and Noxious Weed list or other weed designated by MSGOT as invasive and which has: a known quantifiable negative impact on the quality or quantity of general, core or connectivity sage grouse habitat; or negatively impacts sage grouse populations other than through habitat impacts.
(5) "Major Version" is a means to track revisions to the Montana Mitigation System Habitat Quantification Tool Technical Manual for Greater Sage-Grouse or Montana Mitigation System Policy Guidance for Greater Sage-Grouse. Major Versions are identified as 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, etc.
(6) "Minor Version" is a means to track routine inputs to the HQT made by the program to the Montana Mitigation System Habitat Quantification Tool Technical Manual for Greater Sage-Grouse or Montana Mitigation System Policy Guidance for Greater Sage-Grouse. Minor Versions are identified as x.1, x.2, x.3, etc. Examples of routine inputs include updates to Geographic Information System layers used in the HQT and editorial changes.
(7) "Mitigation Hierarchy or Sequence" means taking steps to:
(a) avoid impacts by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
(b) minimize impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;
(c) rectify impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;
(d) reduce or eliminate the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action; and
(e) compensate for impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.
(8) "Mitigation System" means implementation of the mitigation hierarchy, as defined by (7) and as directed by (9) the Montana Habitat Quantification Tool Technical Manual for Greater Sage-Grouse and (10) the Montana Mitigation System Policy Guidance for Greater Sage-Grouse.
(9) "Montana Mitigation System Habitat Quantification Tool Technical Manual for Greater Sage-Grouse" describes the scientific methods used to evaluate vegetation and environmental conditions related to the quality and quantity of sage grouse habitat.
(10) "Montana Mitigation System Policy Guidance for Greater Sage-Grouse" describes the policies, procedures, and methods of the Mitigation System to quantify and calculate the value of credits and debits.
(11) "MSGOT" means the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team.
(12) "Organization" means a private entity registered with the Montana Secretary of State authorized to conduct business in the state of Montana.
History: 76-22-104, MCA; IMP, 76-22-105, 76-22-109, 76-22-110, 76-22-112, 76-22-118, MCA; NEW, 2016 MAR p. 458, Eff. 3/5/16; AMD, 2019 MAR p. 41, Eff. 1/12/19.