Montana Administrative Register Notice 12-529 No. 16   08/28/2020    
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In the matter of the adoption of an emergency rule closing Bird Island on Flathead Lake in Lake 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 closing Bird Island on Flathead Lake:

(a) A wildfire is burning on Bird Island.

           (b) Persons recreating on Bird Island would be subjected to erratic and unpredictable fire conditions posing a danger of:

(i) becoming surrounded and trapped by the fire;

(ii) being hit by hazard trees;

(iii) becoming a potential burden to rescue and fire crews; or

(iv) death.

(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 closure will be posted at access points. The rule will be sent to interested parties and published as an emergency rule in Issue No. 16 of the 2020 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 September 11, 2020, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kaedy Gangstad, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; telephone (406) 444-4594; or e-mail kgangstad@mt.gov.


3. The emergency rule is effective August 4, 2020, when this rule notice is filed with the Secretary of State.


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


            NEW RULE I  BIRD ISLAND EMERGENCY CLOSURE (1) Bird Island is a Wildlife Habitat Protection Area and is located on Flathead Lake in Lake County.

            (2) Bird Island is closed to all public occupation and recreation.

            (3) This rule will expire as soon as the department determines that Bird Island is again safe for occupation and recreation.  This will depend on the extent and duration of the fire in the area. Signs restricting use of Bird Island 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: Kaedy Gangstad, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT, 59602-0701; e-mail kgangstad@mt.gov. Any comments must be received no later than September 25, 2020.


 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.



/s/ Martha Williams

Martha Williams


Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks

/s/ Zach Zipfel

Zach Zipfel

Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State August 4, 2020.


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