BOZEMAN — The first of four public meetings aimed at gathering public input on recreational use of the Madison River will be held Wednesday evening in Ennis. The information gathered will be used in the preparation of a draft management plan with the goal of preserving the quality of recreational experiences on the river and protecting natural resources.

The scheduled public meetings are as follows:

Ennis, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6-8 p.m. at Ennis Middle School
Bozeman, Thursday, Feb. 16, 6-8 p.m. at the Comfort Inn
West Yellowstone, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6-8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn
Whitehall, Thursday, March 1, 6-8 p.m. at Whitehall High School

FWP is also seeking applicants to serve on a citizen advisory committee that will be tasked with developing recommendations for managing recreation on the Madison River. The committee application form and information about the planning process are available on the FWP website. Applications are due by March 16.

Input from members of the public is critical to the success of this process, according to FWP.

“We acknowledge the emotion that surrounds this issue on all sides,” said Travis Horton, FWP Region 3 Fisheries Manager. “Therefore, it’s important we emphasize FWP has no preconceived outcome for this plan, and is not catering to any one group. FWP wants the public to tell us how to manage recreation on this popular river, even if that means continuing with the status quo.”

If you are not able to attend one of the scheduled meetings you may complete an online survey at fwp.mt.gov/recreation/management/madison/default.html or comment by sending an email to mrrp@mt.gov. Comments will be accepted throughout the planning process.

For additional information on the Madison River Recreational Plan, visit fwp.mt.gov/recreation/management/madison/default.html. Questions may be directed to the River Recreation Manager, Cheryl Morris, at (406) 994-6359.