Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission                           May 10, 2016

Helena, MT

Dear Commissioners,

The Flathead Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited supports Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Quiet Waters petition.  As all forms of water based recreation are increasing in this area, the potential for future conflicts will only grow.  New technologies will help fuel the conflicts as motorized use will expand into new areas formerly not accessible.

Proposed motorized restrictions on the main stem of the Flathead from the junction of the South and Middle Fork to old Steel Bridge are timely and appropriate.  Summertime non-motorized use has expanded rapidly in this section to the point where motorized use not only creates social conflict but also safety hazards.  The seasonal restrictions reduce conflict during the peak summer months while continuing to provide for motorized access during hunting season and the lake whitefish season in the late fall and winter.

The petition represents pro-active management to minimize conflicts and maximize a diverse range of recreation opportunity for our local residents and visitors as well.

Thank you for your considerations.

Sincerely,

Larry Timchak
President
Flathead Valley Chapter, Trout Unlimited