(1) The department shall minimize impacts to fish populations and habitat by implementing the watershed, SMZ, RMZ, and WMZ rules contained in ARM 36.11.422 through 36.11.426.
(2) The department shall review forest management activities proposed adjacent to streams, lakes, or other bodies of water supporting bull trout or other fish and aquatic species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. Sections 1531 through 1544, pursuant to ARM 36.11.404 through 36.11.428.
(a) The department shall make reasonable efforts, in its sole discretion, to cooperate in the implementation of conservation strategies developed by the state of Montana and United States fish and wildlife service (USFWS) for the restoration and recovery of bull trout and other listed fish species.
(i) The department shall design forest management activities to protect bull trout, habitat by implementing conservation strategies pursuant to the Bull Trout Recovery Plan (2015), where applicable.
(3) The department shall design forest management activities to protect bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, and Columbia redband trout habitat by implementing the HCP.
(4) As designated by the department, pursuant to ARM 36.11.436 the department shall:
(a) design forest management activities to protect and maintain:
(i) Yellowstone cutthroat trout;
(ii) arctic grayling; and
(iii) all other sensitive fish and aquatic species.
(b) manage habitat supporting fish and aquatic species designated by the department as sensitive in a manner that complies with other rules concerning sensitive species.
(c) make reasonable efforts to cooperate in the implementation of state conservation strategies for the protection of:
(i) westslope cutthroat and Yellowstone cutthroat trout;
(ii) arctic grayling; and
(iii) other fish species designated as sensitive by the department, as is practicable.
(5) When installing new stream crossing structures on fish-bearing streams, 83-5-501, MCA, the Stream Protection Act (124 permits) specifies:
(a) the department shall provide for fish passage by emulating streambed form and function; but
(b) stream crossing providing connectivity to limited or marginal fisheries habitat may not be required to emulate streambed form and function, if otherwise approved under the Stream Protection Act (124 permits).
(6) The department will inventory and assess all stream crossings on known and presumed fish habitat for connectivity on classified forest lands and within the HCP project area; and
(a) the department will prioritize stream crossing improvement based on existing levels of connectivity, species status, and population biological goals while taking into consideration other regulatory agencies or cooperative organization activities and goals.