Aug 19, 2014 5:04 PM by MTN News
HELENA - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday it would not list the arctic grayling as a federally threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
The decision heads off the prospect of federal management of the fish in Montana.
In a joint announcement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock called the decision great news for the state.
"Today's announcement reaffirms that when Montanans work together to conserve grayling, both the fish and the people of Montana are better off," he said in a statement. The Arctic grayling is in good hands in Montana, under state management."
The decision validates years of collaboration between the state and landowners, according to the governor's office - particularly with 33 ranching families in the Bg Hole Valley.
"The conservation of grayling in the Big Hole Valley is arguably one of the most significant conservation success stories in the nation," Jeff Hagener, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said in the statement. "Remarkably, the over 250 conservation projects that were a part of this effort included nearly 160,000 acres. We will continue to do all we can to ensure the Arctic grayling and the diverse fish and wildlife resources in Montana remain healthy and will be sustained for generations to come."
Montana is the only state in the Continental United States in which the arctic grayling is native.
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