2nd Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Libby area (posted 1/17/2020)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
A second moose has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in northwest Montana.
A hunter harvested the bull moose during the last week of the general hunting season near Fawn Creek southeast of Libby. The moose was harvested within the Libby CWD Management Zone near the southeastern boundary.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks collected the sample from the moose Dec. 1 at the Libby Sampling Station on U.S. Highway 2 and submitted it for testing to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The lab identified it to be suspected of CWD infection on Jan. 14 and confirmed the positive detection Jan. 17 with a second test.
CWD was first detected in the Libby area in the spring of 2019 after a white-tailed deer tested positive. FWP established the Libby CWD Management Zone, spanning a 10-mile radius around town, and began surveillance efforts to identify the prevalence and distribution of the disease. Surveillance efforts included sampling road-killed and symptomatic animals, deer trapped in the urban center of town, and hunter harvests of deer, elk and moose inside the CWD Management Zone. More than 950 samples were collected and tested inside the Management Zone.
To date, 61 white-tailed deer, two moose and one mule deer have tested positive for CWD in the Libby area. The first moose to test positive was harvested approximately half a mile outside the northwest corner of the Libby CWD Management Zone in late October. The rest of the positives have all occurred within the Management Zone, and a majority were near the urban center of town.
The estimated prevalence of CWD in the Libby urban area, identified as the Libby Survey Area, is approximately 13 percent. In the greater Libby CWD Management Zone, the estimated prevalence is nearly 4 percent.
"FWP is working with the City of Libby as it considers an urban deer management plan that would reduce the density of deer in the Libby Survey Area and hopefully reduce the prevalence and spread of CWD," said FWP Region 1 Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson.
During the 2020 hunting season setting process, FWP is proposing an over-the-counter either-sex white-tailed deer B license for both the archery and general hunting seasons that would only be valid inside the Libby CWD Management Zone. This license would increase overall harvest of white-tailed deer within the Libby CWD Management Zone with the goal of reducing the spread of CWD. Public input is open until Jan. 27, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission will review this proposal at its February meeting.
CWD is a fatal disease that can affect the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. Transmission can most commonly occur through direct contact between cervids, as well as shed in urine, feces, saliva, blood and antler velvet from infected cervids. Carcasses of infected cervids may serve as a source of environmental contamination as well and can infect other cervids that come into contact with that carcass.
There is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive.
For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd.
FWP makes two changes to 2020 licenses (posted 1/16/2020)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Hunters and anglers can expect a few changes this year when they buy their 2020 licenses starting March 1.
The most visible change Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks customers will see is a change to license paper. Starting this year, both licenses and carcass tags will be printed on normal-sized paper, and license buyers will be able to print them at home.
For years, FWP licenses and tags have been produced on weather-resistant paper. However, this paper is not only expensive, but requires printing technology so outdated that its almost impossible to replace. The switch to standard 8.5 by 11-inch paper will provide significant savings and ultimately be easier for customers.
What this means is hunters wont have to wait for special permits or licenses to come in the mail from FWP, but rather will be able to print them at home or at their local license provider.
This change also will reinforce the ability in Montana to have your license electronically on your mobile device and not printed out in your pocket. While carcass tags still need to be printed out, other licenses, such as a fishing license, do not. If checked in the field, this electronic version of your license is perfectly legal.
FWP recommends that people carry small plastic bags with them while hunting, and place validated carcass tags in the bags before attaching them to an animal. Small plastic bags ideal for this application will be available at all license providers, but any small sandwich bag will work.
Additionally, in 2020, hunters applying for licenses or permits will be able to do so online or at an FWP office. Mail-in applications will no longer be accepted.
With modern technology, the number of online applications continues to steadily grow. Eighty-six percent of Montana hunters now choose this method. The small percentage of mail-in applications creates a time-consuming, expensive and inefficient delay in the license-drawing process. Mail-in applications must be entered manually in the licensing system, leaving room for human error and delays.
Customers who still look for written guidance to help them through the application process will be able to find information sheets online or at an FWP office in the coming weeks. These information sheets will not be accepted as applications.
This simple change means that drawing results will now be available two weeks after the application deadline, rather than six weeks, allowing hunters to begin making plans for the upcoming season that much earlier.
Glacier National Park removing sign claiming glaciers will be gone by 2020 (posted 1/10/2020)
KPAX 8 (Western Montana) News posted a story that Glacier National Park is removing signs in the park that state glaciers will be gone by 2020. The signs were installed in the early 2000s based on scientific predictions at that time. The latest research still shows that the glaciers in the park are shrinking, but not at the rate predicted, so the wording on the signs needs to be updated. The park is working with the U.S. Geological Society to monitor the glaciers in the park and will update signs as necessary.
Click on this link to read the full story: Glacier National Park to remove all 'glaciers will be gone by 2020' signs By Maren Siu, KPAX8, www.kpax.com, Jan. 6/9, 2020
Depression Support Group meetings (posted 1/9/2020)
Depression Support Group meets from 11:00am to noon at Libby Christian Church on Tuesdays until May. The group is facilitated by Liz Erickson RN. They offer encouragement, education and exercise. Everyone welcome. For more information call 406-293-3747.
Hunters advised of optimal hours for checking harvested animals at Libby Area Office (posted 1/9/2020)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Hunters and trappers in the Libby area are reminded of the optimal days to check harvested animals.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will have staff available to check mountain lions, wolves, bobcats, and other animals at the Libby Area Office, 385 Fish Hatchery Road, on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. through Jan. 19. After Jan. 19, FWP staff will be available on Mondays and Thursdays (excluding holidays).
FWP cannot guarantee staff will be readily available to check animals outside of those hours.
Hunters can call to schedule a time outside of the designated hours:
Tonya Chilton-Radandt: (406) 293-4161 x 209
Kim Annis: (406) 293-4161 x 207
Tamie Laverdure: (406) 291-1954
Inspection of bobcat, fisher, otter, swift fox, and marten harvests can now be completed within 10 days of the calendar close of the season.
Black bear, mountain lion, or wolf must be presented to a Montana FWP official within 10 days of harvest for inspection, tagging and possible removal of a tooth (for aging). A hunter who has completed a transfer form may have a representative present the hide and skull to a Montana FWP official for inspection.
Bull Trout harvest closure to take effect on Lake Koocanusa (posted 1/7/20)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
The harvesting of bull trout on Lake Koocanusa will be closed in an effort to improve the diminished population of the threatened species.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission on Jan. 6 approved a request from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional biologists to implement the closure while maintaining catch-and-release fishing on the large lake in Lincoln County. The closure will take effect March 1, 2020. Prior to the closure, harvest was limited to one bull trout per license year from June 1 through February 28 with catch-and-release fishing allowed the rest of the year. Anglers were required to have a Lake Koocanusa Bull Trout Catch Card when fishing for bull trout.
Bull Trout are listed as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act. Through special arrangements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, limited harvest is allowed to occur at Lake Koocanusa, Hungry Horse Reservoir, and a catch-and-release fishery is allowed in the South Fork Flathead River. Due to the threatened status of the native species, FWP prefers to take a very conservative approach to bull trout management while still allowing opportunities for harvest when possible.
Bull Trout redd counts in the fall are used as an important metric for measuring fish reproduction and recruitment and are included as part of the requirements for the harvest permit. For the Lake Koocanusa bull trout population, redd counts in Wigwam River in British Columbia and Grave Creek in Montana are important for determining harvest quotas. Over the past six years, redd counts had been fairly steady in both streams. In Fall 2019, spawning redds in both streams declined substantially, prompting concerns that limited angler harvest could have population-scale impacts.
FWP biologists believe it is appropriate to limit harvest until redd counts improve.
Bull trout are native to rivers, streams and lakes in the Columbia (Kootenai, Clark Fork, Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Flathead, and Swan drainages) and Saskatchewan River (St. Mary and Belly drainages) basins. Declines in bull trout abundance and distribution have been caused by habitat loss and degradation from land and water management practices; population isolation and fragmentation from dams and other barriers; competition, predation and hybridization with introduced non-native fish species (lake trout, northern pike, brook trout and others); historical overharvest; and poaching.
FWP to host public meetings (posted 12/15/19)
To discuss proposed hunting season dates, structure changes
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is hosting public meetings across northwest Montana (Region 1) in January to discuss proposed hunting season dates and structure changes.
Hunting season dates and structures are adopted biennially for most game species. The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved tentative proposals at its Dec. 5 meeting, and FWP is accepting public comment on an array of statewide proposals through 5 p.m., Jan. 22, 2020. The Commission will act on final adoptions or adjustments at the February 2020 commission meeting.
In Region 1, FWP is proposing hunting district boundary changes in the Flathead and Swan Valleys (Remove HD 132 by placing private lands in expanded HD 170 and the Forest Service lands into expanded HDs 130 & 140) and the Bob Marshall (combine Hunting Districts 150 and 151), adding an over-the-counter 199-00 either-sex whitetail B license for the Libby Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone (portions of Hunting Districts 100, 103, and 104), and changing the mountain lion special licenses by adding separate male and female special licenses in certain hunting districts.
For more information on proposals and to comment online, visit the FWP website under "Opportunity for Public Comment" at fwp.mt.gov/hunting/. Or visit http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2019/biennialSeasonSetting.html.
FWP Region 1 Season Setting Public Meetings
Jan. 3 Kalispell, Montana FWP Region 1 Headquarters, 490 N. Meridian, 6 p.m.
Jan. 8 Trout Creek, Lakeside Resort, 2955 MT-200, 6 p.m.
Jan. 10 Libby, K.W. Maki Theater, 724 Louisiana Ave., 6 p.m.
Jan. 16 Eureka, Lincoln Electric Cooperative, 312 Osloski Rd., 7 p.m.
Moose near Troy tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (posted 12/2/19)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
A moose in northwest Montana tested positive for chronic wasting disease, marking the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana.
A hunter harvested the bull moose in late October near Pulpit Mountain west of Quartz Creek and north of Troy. The harvest occurred less than half a mile to the west of the existing Libby CWD Management Zone.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks collected the voluntary sample from the moose and submitted it for testing to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The lab identified it to be suspected of CWD infection and confirmed the positive detection with a second test.
How Is Libby, Troy, Yaaks Real Estate Market in 2019? (posted 10/30/19)
Guest article by Alice Hayes, Loveless Realty
January 1, 2019 October 1, 2019 Current RE figures were:
SALES & PENDINGS:
126 Residential SALES:
80 in Libby; 40 in Troy; 6 in Yaak
71 Land SALES:
38 in Libby; 25 in Troy; 8 in Yaak
5 Commercial/Multi-Family SALES:
4 in Libby; 1 in Troy
35 Residential PENDING:
25 in Libby; 10 in Troy
14 Land PENDING:
10 in Libby; 4 in Troy
1 Commercial/M-Family PENDING:
1 in Libby
115 Residential ACTIVES:
52 in Libby; 44 in Troy; 15 Yaak
199 Land ACTIVES:
105 in Libby; 79 in Troy; 15 in Yaak
22 Comm/Multi-Fam ACTIVE:
17 in Libby; 3 in Troy; 2 in Yaak
What Were the Price Ranges of SOLDS Homes so far in 2019?
10K - $150,000 = 52 Sales
151K - $250,000 = 36 Sales
251K - $500,000 = 36 Sales
501K - $800,000 = 1 Sales
801K - $1,500,000 = 1
Interest Rates Are Good NOW Could be a Great Time to Purchase
As of 10/1/2019 Conforming & FHA Loans: per Quicken
30-Year Fixed: Interest = 3.99 %; APR= 4.247%
15-Year Fixed: Interest = 3.5 %; APR= 3.948%
2019 has been Super busy. We have been able to help many people move to their new home, move out of their old home, sell their land, buy new land, or even move to a new town. But, there have been others who are still looking to sell their home or land or looking to buy that just right home or perfect piece of land.
Our Inventory of Homes is in rather short supply and we are looking for more options to offer buyers. If youve toyed with the idea of selling we would enjoy visiting with you about how we can be of help.
lies in the northwest corner of Montana and is nestled in a valley carved by the
Kootenai River on the flank of the majestic Cabinet Mountain Range and Wilderness
about 2,800 people live within Libby proper. The main industries are lumber and
wood products, mining, tourism and recreation. The movies "The River Wild" and
"Always" were filmed here. Contact the Libby
Chamber of Commerce for brochures, info on lodging and events, general area
information, and contact information for local businesses and services.
When the weather warms and the mountain
snows melt away, the Kootenai National Forest comes alive with over 2.2
million acres of public land as a playground. Mountain trails and lakes
open up, beautiful wildflowers come in bloom, and wildlife have their young.
Libby is the basecamp for the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area, 90-mile
long Lake Koocanusa, the Northwest Peaks Scenic Area, and the Ten Lakes
Scenic Area. There is good access to most of the Forest and plenty of room
to get away from it all!
Winter in Montana means snow, and lots
of it! For those who love to play in the deep powder, the Libby area offers tremendous
winter fun. Turner Mountain Ski Area, located
just 22 miles from Libby, offers challenging downhill skiing with a beautiful
view. Their slogan is "steep, deep and cheap", and Turner definitely
lives up to that. It's still fairly undiscovered, so you can escape the crowds
and get the cheapest lift tickets around. For those who love snowmobiling,
there are hundreds of miles of backcountry roads to sled on in the Kootenai National
Forest. Cross-country skiers and ice fishermen also can find solitude on a lake
and miles of quiet forest trails to enjoy the outdoors. Those who are a bit on
the wild and crazy side will love the antics of the Libby Polar Bear Club.
Members take winter-time "swims" in frigid Libby Creek every Sunday
from October to April. Plungers have ranged in age from 3 to 61. As long as the
ice can be broken on the creek, if it has formed, the group will take their plunge,
no matter the temperature.
These people must be
Polar Bear Club