Recreation Committee Closing In on West Fork Recommendations
Since the first of the year, an advisory committee has been examining the pressures on the Upper Bitterroot and the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. Day-long sessions have identified conflicts and the 16-member group has come up with some ideas.
The committee is addressing complaints of crowding and the current proposal divides the upper river and the West Fork into four sections. Each of those sections will be closed to commercial fishing one day a week, according to information from Trout Unlimited. A limit of how many commercial boats would be allowed may also be suggested, along with a permit system for the whole river.
Monday evening, March 6, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the group of volunteers is hoping to finalize its suggestions, which will be considered by the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. State officials will also consider other public input, environmental analysis and survey results as they develop regulations for the river, according to Vivaca Crowser in a news release. Crowser said such rules would not be completed until later this year.
The meeting will be at the Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor's Office, 1801 North First in Hamilton and there will be opportunities for public comment.