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Rule Title: THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES - BALD EAGLE
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Department: NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION, DEPARTMENT OF
Chapter: FOREST MANAGEMENT
Subchapter: State Forest Land Management
 
Latest version of the adopted rule presented in Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM):

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36.11.429    THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES - BALD EAGLE

(1) The department shall manage for bald eagles pursuant to the Montana Bald Eagle Management Plan (1994) , and the Habitat Management Guide For Bald Eagles in Northwestern Montana (1991) .

(a) To guide management, the department shall use site-specific plans where they have been developed previously, if they remain applicable.

(b) Maintenance of habitat for breeding bald eagles, where no site-specific management plans are in place, shall include recognition and delineation of three management zones around each active bald eagle nest, including:

(i) nest site area;

(ii) primary use area; and

(iii) home range.

(c) The department shall consider the following when conducting forest management activities within nest site areas:

(i) Mechanized activities are restricted between February 1 and August 15, unless the territory is documented as unoccupied during that breeding season, or if allowed as specified in a site-specific management plan.  The department may grant exceptions for such activities as road repair, maintenance, and planting, if, following site review and documentation, activities are deemed to be:

(A) of short duration;

(B) outside of critical nesting periods; and

(C) would present minimal risk to nesting adults or offspring.

(ii) The department shall not typically target bald eagle nest site areas for timber harvesting.  Timber harvesting may be acceptable to perpetuate habitat characteristics preferred by bald eagles.  The department shall design timber harvests to maintain the structural and ecological characteristics of the nest site area to include:

(A) ample stocking;

(B) large emergent trees;

(C) snags;

(D) a multi-storied canopy; and

(E) vegetative screening from nearby human activity (low and high intensity) .

(iii) The department shall protect such areas from firewood cutting and gathering, to the extent practicable.

(iv) Established levels of human activity (generally low intensity) may continue if the area has:

(A) a recorded nest success of greater than 60%;

(B) fledged at least three young during the previous five years; and

(C) a low potential hazard rating according to the bald eagle nest survey.

(v) The department shall limit additional human activity, both low and high intensity, over which it has control between February 1 and August 15 (see the Montana Bald Eagle Management Plan of July 1994 for exceptions) .

(vi) The department shall limit permanent development associated with forest management activities.

(vii) The department shall close existing roads and trails under its control to motorized use between February 1 and August 15, if:

(A) vegetative screening from the nest is insufficient to prevent undue disturbance and human use is high; or

(B) the eagles' behavioral response suggests it is necessary.

(d) The department shall include the following considerations when conducting forest management activities within bald eagle primary use areas:

(i) Limit mechanized activities between February 1 and August 15, unless the territory is documented as unoccupied during that breeding season, or if allowed as specified in a site-specific management plan.  The department may grant exceptions for such activities as:

(A) road repair;

(B) maintenance; and

(C) planting if following site review and documentation, activities are deemed to:

(I) be of short duration;

(II) be outside of critical nesting periods; and

(III) present minimal risk to nesting adults or offspring.

(ii) Design timber harvests to maintain structural and ecological characteristics particularly:

(A) ample stocking;

(B) large emergent trees;

(C) multi-storied canopy, if present;

(D) snags;

(E) potential nest trees;

(F) perch trees;

(G) roost trees; and

(H) vegetative screening from areas of both low and high intensity human activity.

(iii) Timber harvesting shall be acceptable to perpetuate habitat characteristics preferred by bald eagles.  The department may conduct salvage of wind-thrown, insect-damaged, or diseased trees as long as the general site characteristics of the area are maintained.

(iv) Low intensity human activity may occur, but high intensity human activity, over which the department has control, shall not occur between February 1 and August 15, unless otherwise allowed in a site-specific management plan.

(v) Minimize permanent development associated with forest management activities.

(vi) Minimize construction of new roads, trails, and open access routes.

(e) The department shall consider the following when conducting forest management activities within the bald eagle home range:

(i) Design timber harvests to protect, and/or enhance, key habitat components that already exist in close proximity to:

(A) lakes;

(B) rivers;

(C) wetlands;

(D) meadows; or

(E) known flight paths, such as:

(I) large snags;

(II) large perch trees;

(III) emergent trees; and

(IV) roost trees.

(ii) Design projects involving human activities, both low and high intensity, to minimize disturbance to foraging and roosting eagles, and to avoid conflict in frequently used areas during the nesting season.

(iii) Minimize construction of new roads, trails, and open access routes.

History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03.


 

 
MAR Notices Effective From Effective To History Notes
3/14/2003 Current History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03.
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