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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced two programs for landowners in 19 counties aimed at increasing public hunting access and enhancing the quality of upland game bird habitat.

Landowners must choose which program best suits their needs.

"FWP wants to ensure producers are aware of the opportunities, but it is up to them to select the opportunity that best fits their situation," said Debbie Hohler, Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program Biologist.

The "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters" is a pilot program that pays landowners rent for lands they open to public game bird hunting. The funds, appropriated under the 2008 federal Farm Bill program, are targeted for productive game bird habitat enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program or the Missouri-Madison River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the Montana counties of: Broadwater, Cascade, Choteau, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Gallatin, Glacier, Lewis and Clark, Madison, McCone, Pondera, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Teton, Toole, and Wibaux.

Participating landowners receive a one-time lump sum of $5 per acre each year the land is enrolled in the program. Enrolled lands must be clearly posted for walk-in game bird hunting. Because this program is intended to expand areas open to the public for game bird hunting, lands that are already enrolled in FWP's Block Management Program or the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program do not qualify.

A second program enables FWP to share the cost of two Conservation Practice seed mixes through the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program. Producers who plant CP 25 seed mixes qualify for a cost-share of up to $16 an acre. CP2 seed mixes can receive cost-share up to $14 per acre. Eligible counties for seed cost-share are: Cascade, Choteau, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Glacier, McCone, Pondera, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Teton, Toole, and Wibaux. Producers may enroll up to 640 acres.

For more information on the seed mix cost-share program and an application, go to the FWP website at and search for: "Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program." There is no deadline to apply.

For more information and an application for the "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters" program, go to and click "For Fish & Wildlife Information" on the home page. Applications for the "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters" program must be post-marked no later than April 20.

Send applications to: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks - Wildlife Division; Attention: Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement Program; P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620.

For details, contact Debbie Hohler at: 406-444-5674, or by e-mail:

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